Keep these facts in mind as you read this post:
- The periodic in-person check-ins mandated by Nebraska law for registered people are of no public safety value. The vast majority of registered people make the trek to the sheriff’s office to report that their information has not changed. ALL OF THE INFORMATION is readily available from other sources.
- The check-ins and other provisions of Nebraska’s hate-mongering LB 285 of 2009 were put in because they sounded tough and could earn a politician some votes. They have no practical law-enforcement value.
In light of recommendations to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a registered person called the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to ask if he should continue coming in for his check-ins. We are told that the sheriff’s office response was, “Yes.” Come on in, even if it puts your health and your life and the lives of others at risk.
How astoundingly stupid.
Even in the best of times, the in-person check-ins are a waste of time and resources. They do not enhance public safety. Their true purpose (in addition to the political motivation involved in cooking them up) is to track numbers that the sheriff’s office can use to grub taxpayer-funded grant dollars.
Many registered people are over 65 and have underlying health conditions. Public health authorities are telling these folks to stay home. For any registered person, the check-in requirement is a hardship that often involves taking time off work, arranging for child care, finding transportation, etc.
But the Douglas County Sheriff doesn’t care.
Despite the fact that residence, vehicle, employment and other information is already available to the sheriff from places like county residence records or the state Department of Motor Vehicles, the sheriff wants you to come in and tell him that nothing has changed from last time you were in.
The bigger question is why are we doing this, the issue of COVID-19 aside? It wastes time and law-enforcement resources that would be better used elsewhere.
Our advice to registered people is: You must abide by this stupid law. For the duration of this pandemic, take a large quantity of disinfectant with you when you go to check in and use it liberally in your surroundings to keep yourself protected from getting infected at the sheriff’s office.