Every day there is another story about another sex offender arrested, someone having child pornography on their computer, and another child disappearing after talking with someone they thought was an online friend their own age. As parents, we know the sex offenders are out there, but how do we know where they are living? How close to our family are they living? How do we keep our children safe if we do not know where the danger is lurking?
There are many ways to find sex offenders online in your area. All states need sex offenders convicted of certain sex crimes to register where the live, and tell local authorities when they move out of an area and into an area by law.
Previously if one wanted a copy of the sex offenderís registry, one physically had to drive to the local sheriffís department. Then one had to fill out a form, asking information about why one wanted the list, and what one planned to do with the information.
Many states initially have been hesitant to list sex offender information online. There was fear, the public would use the information inappropriately to harass and drive the offender out of the neighborhood. Yet the public has been demanding to know who is living around them and who is watching their children, not to drive anyone away simply to know where there children are safe in the neighborhood.
Dru Sjodin, a 22-year-old North Dakota college student, abducted while talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone from a North Dakota Mall parking lot, in November 2003 prompted creating a National Sex Offender Registry. Video surveillance of the mall on the day of Druís kidnapping shows Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., 50, a level three-sex offender from Minnesota was at the mall. A level three offender is the highest danger of reoffending. North Dakota did not have a sex offender registry at the time of Druís kidnapping. Rodriguez, had served 23 years in prison for crimes against women, including rape, kidnapping, and aggravated assault, released just 6 months before kidnapping Dru.
Now there is Druís Law, a law that needs convicted child molesters to register on a national Internet database. If they fail to register, they face a felony charge for failing to update their location or address. This law is in honor of Dru Sjodinís brief but bright life that like a shining star shot through this universe and left a permanent mark on the face of the Earth forever.
The U.S. Department of Justice, is committed to keeping communities safe from sexual predators, runs the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry. This internet-based registry is available to all communities. This network, designed, to provide one place for parents, schools, employers, law enforcement and the public to stop in and check for sex offenders in their area.
The registry is easy to use. To search for an offender one can focus on several areas of information. The search can focus on the offenderís last name, a specific county, city/town, or a series of zip codes. Here is the link to the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry.
If anyone is aware of a sex offender, who is violating the law and not registering their place of residency as needed by the law, please contact your local authorities immediately.
Until next time I send you angels to keep you safe, angels above you, angels below you, angels all around you to keep you safe.