By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Last week, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kelly Winchester participated in sex offender training that was held in Crystal City which is near Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.
Sgt. Winchester, who is the Sex Offender Registrar for the Sheriff’s Office, attended the Sex Offender Investigator Training Program which was hosted by the United States Marshals Service at the National Sex Offender Training Center. The training was extended by the Marshals Service on an invitation basis only.
Winchester received a certificate at the conclusion of the three day training session acknowledging that she successfully completed the training program. Part of the training entailed building networking relationships and contacts with law enforcement agencies in other parts of the country as well as on the federal government level, plus, Deputy Winchester also learned of resources, tools and information that are available to assist her in her job.
Besides hearing from speakers from the Marshals Service, Winchester and those who attended also heard from individuals from the State Department, Interpol, and from the military liaison who works at the Training Center as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who discussed ways that those organizations and agencies can assist local law enforcement with sex offender issues. In some of the information presented, for example, the Marshals Service discussed how they build cases on the federal level, plus, the speaker for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children talked about resources they have to assist law enforcement with offenders who have absconded, which would be offenders who fail to register or leave secretly to avoid law enforcement detection, which is a criminal offense.
“I have point of contacts with those in the targeting center and law enforcement contacts around the country as a result of this training,” says Sgt. Winchester. “I have phone numbers and e-mail addresses and in that way if we have specific requests and need specific help then we can branch out to them and ask them to help me.”
“The Marshals Service has a Behavioral Analysis Unit and we heard from the two doctors’ who head up the unit, including one who is a clinical psychologist who worked in the Bureau of Prisons,” continues Sgt. Winchester. “Their presentation helped those who were there learn more about sex offenders and their behavior from a psychological perspective”
“To be the only law enforcement officer in our state to be invited by the Marshals Service to attend this training speaks well of the respect that Kelly has among her peers and the job she is doing as the Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Registrar in helping to keep the citizens of Oconee County safe,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “The training and resources that Kelly received will allow her to have all she needs to make sure that those on the registry who move in and out of Oconee County remain compliant and if they chose not to, to be able to have all the tools at her disposal to hold them accountable in the eyes of the law.”