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Sex Offender Notification And Registration (SONAR) Detail

One of the safety measures used by the SONAR Detail to protect the public is by making a notification to the community. Upon learning of a violent sexual predator living or working in an area served by the Sheriff's Department, SONAR Investigators conduct a thorough examination and evaluation of the offender’s criminal history as well as conduct an in-depth interview of the sex offender. Investigators also consider the following factors: 

  • Are there citizens/children in the area who are at risk? 
  • Do those citizens/children have the likelihood to encounter the offender? 
  • Communities receive notification that violent sexual predators are in the neighborhood in a variety of ways, including public meetings, letters, bulletins, news releases and press conferences.

Of the approximately 3,500 registered sex offenders living in Orange County, approximately 700 live within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department. The investigators assigned to the SONAR Detail are responsible for risk assessment and monitoring of these registered sex offenders living within the community. Prevention is SONAR’s ultimate goal, and they utilize the following methods to supervise registered sex offenders; residence and workplace visits, family and neighborhood interviews, extensive criminal and civil background investigations, strict enforcement of the state’s registration laws, covert surveillance, partnership with supervisory agencies such as probation and parole, preparation and service of search warrants and arrest warrants, maintenance of the “Megan’s Law” data base for public information, and community notifications. In the event of re-offense, these investigators utilize the established methods in place within the Special Victims Detail to pursue criminal prosecution and the re-incarceration of the offender.

SONAR personnel are also responsible for investigating all sex-related offenses within the Orange County Sheriff’s jail system. 

Sex Registration

The California Department of Justice classifies each convicted sex offender in categories: 

  • FULL ADDRESS sex offenders are serious offenders who have multiple convictions for sex offenses and/or violent crimes. These offenders have been identified by the California Department of Justice as having a higher risk of re-offending and they pose the greatest danger to the public. 
  • ZIP CODE sex offenders are registrants who have been convicted of a felony sex offense, including misdemeanor child molestation.
  • NO POST sex offenders have typically been convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses such as Indecent Exposure, Sexual Battery, or Possession of Child Pornography. They are not deemed to pose an immediate threat to the public. 

Information on sex offenders residing in California may be obtained by viewing the California Department of Justice “Megan’s Law” website at

Please contact us

There may also be citizens who are aware of convicted sex offenders who may be residing within the community unregistered, or who may be engaging in questionable behaviors involving children. In these instances, we appreciate your help in advising us and in most cases the provider of such information can remain anonymous. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7419, or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at