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COLUMBUS, OH (Press release) -
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wants to remind Ohioans that the state's new arson registry is now active.
The registry is maintained and managed by the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and is a requirement of Senate Bill 70, which was signed into law back in December.
"We hope this new registry will serve as a valuable investigative tool for law enforcement and fire officials," said DeWine. "Now, investigators will be able to look at an arson scene and quickly determine if any convicted arsonists live nearby."
The law requires that anyone convicted of arson, aggravated arson, or an arson-related offense register his or her address with the county sheriff's office. The offender must register once a year for life.
Each offender will be required to pay a $50 fee for their initial registration and $25 each following year. The funds will be spent on maintenance of the system.
The database is part of the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway and is only accessible to law enforcement and fire investigators.
In 2010, Toledo led the nation in arsons. Read more on arsons in the Glass City in WTOL's Special Report.