Image: mostly trueStatement: “San Diego County has the highest percentage of knowing where the sex registrants are of anywhere in California. I think it’s something like 98 percent of all the registered sex offenders are known and tracked regularly. There’s some counties where that’s 50 percent or 60 percent. So we’re doing a good job here,” Sheriff Bill Gore said during a public safety panel June 22.

Determination: Mostly True

Analysis: State law requires that registered sex offenders keep updated contact information with their local law enforcement agency and of course, the agencies are supposed to periodically make sure it’s accurate.

Gore said San Diego County is the best at making sex offenders comply with the law and correctly alert law enforcement authorities where they live.

As of June 24, the county had a 96 percent compliance rate among its sex offender population, according to data from the state Attorney General’s Office, which oversees California’s sex offender registry. Out of 3,975 sex offenders registered to live in the county, 142 were deemed noncompliant with the law.

Gore’s 98 percent statistic was pretty close, but San Diego County isn’t the best by every measure. Among major counties, it ranks the highest. Among all counties, it ranks eighth. The top ranking county, Sierra, had nine registered sex offenders and 100 percent compliance.

Although it’s not unreasonable put major and rural counties on different scales, Gore’s statement includes both. His second comparison — “There’s some counties where that’s 50 percent or 60 percent.” — acknowledges two rural counties. Alpine County had a 50 percent compliance rate because one of its two registered sex offenders was noncompliant. Twenty-nine of Colusa County’s 46 registered sex offenders, or 63 percent, were compliant.

If Gore had only included major counties in the second comparison, Los Angeles County would be the lowest ranking with 75 percent. Including the combination of San Diego compared to major counties at the top, and San Diego compared to rural counties at the bottom, made the county look extra good.

Apart from this inconsistency, we’ve still called the statement mostly true because it doesn’t significantly misrepresent the statistical landscape. Even though its fails to identify the comparisons being made, San Diego County, despite ranking lower than seven rural counties, could still arguably be considered the best because it’s handling thousands of more sex offenders.

To be clear, we’re not saying whether it’s the best or not. That’s an argument we’ll let the sheriffs debate.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

You can also e-mail new Fact Check suggestions to What claim should we explore next?


Summer Polacek

Summer Polacek was formerly the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego.

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