Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit

The Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit (RSONU) was created in 1998. The goal of the unit was to support enforcement of new laws being passed for sex offender registration and to educate the public in this area.

This unit is comprised of one detective from the Sparks Police Department, one detective from the Reno Police Department and one detective from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. The unit is supervised by a sergeant from the Sparks Police Department.

In a regional effort this unit verifies the compliance status of offenders within our community, investigates sex offender registration compliance violations, makes community notifications of those offenders who are subject to public notification per Nevada Revised Statute and assists other law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of offenders in the interest of public safety and community awareness.

RSONU monitors the registration of almost 1,400 sex offenders in Washoe County. Effective on June 1, 2016 all sex offenders will be listed on the Nevada Sex Offender Website.

In 2007 the Adam Walsh Law was passed regarding sex offenders. This law placed stricter guidelines on sex offenders. In 2008 an injunction was placed on Adam Walsh Law in Nevada. This injunction was lifted and now the Adam Walsh law will be enforced in Nevada. Some of the changes that will take affect are:

  • Sex offenders are now mandated to check in with law enforcement several times a year depending on their tier level, even if they haven’t changed their address. Tier 1 must check in once a year. Tier 2 must check in two times a year (every 6 months). Tier 3 must check in 4 times a year (every 90 days.) Sex Offenders who register in Washoe County will be sent a letter telling them what their tier level is and what months they are required to check in with law enforcement.
  • The Nevada Sex Offender Registry goes by the sex offenders original registration date to determine what months the sex offender will have to check in.  The Nevada Sex Offender Registry call these check in’s FDR’s (Frequency Duration of Registration).
  • Specific time periods of registration.  Tier 0, 1, 2 only had to register as a sex offender for 15 years. Tiers 3’s are lifetime. The Adam Walsh law will change this. Tier 1 for 15 years, Tier 2 for 25 years and Tier 3’s are still lifetime. A sex offender must petition the court to no longer register as a sex offender, registration just doesn’t stop because the sex offender met their years of requirement.
  • Tier level is now based on conviction.  Tier levels in the past were based on a rating system that was created by the Attorney General’s Office and the Nevada Sex Offender Registry which was approved by the legislature.  The Adam Walsh law now bases a sex offender’s tier level on their conviction. Generally all sex offenders who were convicted of a gross misdemeanor sex crime are Tier 1’s.  Tier 2’s are generally those sex offenses against a child, prostitution and pornography. Tiers 3’s are those sex offenders who have been convicted of sexual assault or a sex crime against a child under 14 years of age. Attached are the definitions of Tier 1, 2, 3. The Adam Walsh law no longer classifies the tier levels as low risk, medium risk or high risk.
  • Persons who must register as a sex offender have only 3 business days to update a change in their employment status, address, work or student status.
  • Some juvenile sex offenders who were adjudicated as a delinquent and were at least 14 years old at the time they committed their sex crime must register if their crime was a sexual assault or against a child under 14 year of age.

More information can be found at the following:

The State of Nevada Sex Offender Website

This website is the most current and up to date website for information for registered sex offenders, but other websites can be used like

National Sex Offender Website

Parent Education and Resources can be looked up through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.



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