The Commercial Appeal
Ohio launching state registry for arsonists
AKRON, Ohio — Under a state law that takes effect Monday, anyone convicted of an arson crime after July 1 or now incarcerated for one is required to register annually with the county sheriff where they live.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will maintain a central database containing the names, addresses, photos and other personal information on fire-setters. That registry, unlike a similar database for sex offenders, will be available only to law enforcement officials and not the public.
Ohio joins other states, such as California and Montana, with a statewide registry.
“It’s a good thing,” Barberton fire Capt. Richard Hardgrove said. “It will help us do our job better when we look at these fires.”
Arson is a major problem in Ohio.
The FBI reported there were 2,850 arson incidents in the state in 2010.
Convicted arsonists are required to pay a $50 registration fee and a $25 annual fee after that to help maintain the statewide registry. Failure to register