As with Sex Offenders, Sexually Violent Predators were not required to notify law enforcement of their residence until the Jacob Wetterling Act of 1994. This act enabled law enforcement to share information with members of their community, and in the case of Sexually Violent Predators, law enforcement must actively notify citizens.
Under the direction of the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, a protocol has been established to assist law enforcement agencies in Mesa County with the tools to conduct educational and informative SVP Community Notification Meetings. These recommendations are designed to minimize public fear and emotional reaction to the SVP's arrival in the community. Community education is the key element of a successful notification program. The intent of community notification is not to impose harassment or additional punishment on the offender, but to provide information to those individuals or agencies that need to know about the offender's potential risk.
In Mesa County, notification of a Sexually Violent Predator is sent via mail to the area surrounding SVP's residence. There is no guideline as to how many people should be notified of an SVP living in the community. Many factors determine the appropriate area of notification including population, local business, schools, day care centers, assisted living centers, and other geographical factors.
The notification letters sent to these residents are notice of a community meeting regarding a SVP and will not contain specific information about the SVP. This information is omitted to prevent vigilantism, harassment, or intimidation that may result before the community notification meeting takes place. The notification letter is simply a notice that an individual living in your area, has been convicted of a sex offense that requires notification and will list a date, time, and meeting place to obtain more information about the SVP.