Sex Offenders - Neighborhood Security
Unless you've been under a rock for the last few weeks surely you've heard of Jaycee Dugard. She was kidnapped as a young child while walking to catch a school bus. She's was held as a sex slave by her captive, a pedophile named Phillip Garrido. Police made the discovery a few weeks ago at Garrido's home. Soon the story was all over the news. This case made me physically ill; just the thought of having a daughter kidnapped and tortured for 18 years is too much. Garrido was a Registered Sex Offender and subject to visits and questioning from parole officers over the years. On numerous occasions each year Garrido was visited by law enforcement. Never in the 18 years of visits did anyone stumble upon something that might raise suspicion? That in itself points to a system that is broken. It is a known fact that over 75% of pedophiles re-offend; that being the case wouldn't you think officers would approach visits expecting to find problems. If 75 out of every 100 re-offend then I would be surprised to NOT find a problem. Does anyone really think these people can be treated or rehabilitated? In my opinion the answer is no. I am regular visitor to the National Sex Offender Registry. The system gives users the ability to find out the offenses, addresses, and history of registered sex offenders. As a result of the system I know that we have 6 registered pedophiles within a 2 mile radius of our home. Enhancements to the system make it possible for you to put in an email address or phone number to determine if it is associated with a sex offender. If you notice that your child is communicating with someone you're not familiar with, plug in the phone number they are calling from or the email address used. This is just another proactive tool to help you keep your children safe. To be honest, as the father of young children I feel like my hands are tied in some senses. Because these pedophiles are allowed to live wherever they please, the residents are being held prisoner within the community they live in. If you have children and know that these "animals" are close by, you are certainly going to keep a tight leash on your kids to ensure there well being. So what can we do within the community to raise awareness, while taking back our neighborhoods and creating the safe haven that our kids deserve. First, go to the National Sex Offender Registry http://www.familywatchdog.us/. Find out who they are and where they live. Make sure that everyone within your community is aware. Consider starting a neighborhood watch organization. Create newsletters, emails and web communication to get the word out. Follow some basic, common sense tips to ensure safety. Common Sense Tips to Keep You Safe Parents
- Always know where your children are.
- Put your children's emergency identification (name, address, phone number) on their clothes.
- Teach your children your home phone number and to how call 911 if there is an emergency.
- Agree on a specific time when children must return home.
- Contact law enforcement authorities immediately if there is any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- Purchase and watch The Safe Side video with your children.
- Always tell your parents where you are going.
- Never enter any home without getting your parent's permission first.
- Never get into any vehicle, unless your parents know and have said it's OK.
- Always wear reflective clothing at night.
- Never approach any house that is not well lit.
- Remember anything weird that an adult says or does to you and tell your parents immediately.
- Run away from people who offer you candy or other treats or want you to help look for their puppy or kitten.
- Scream, run and fight if anyone tries to grab you or make you to go with them.
- Don't play in areas that you are unfamiliar with.
- Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, always walk facing traffic. Some communities are investing in surveillance systems to record activities within their neighborhoods. Most make sure to capture entry/exit ways. If a crime occurs chances are you will have video evidence to help law enforcement make an apprehension. The presence of surveillance equipment is a deterrent in itself. Parents and guardians should consider carrying some type of self defense product. You'll have the means to protect yourself and family if necessary and the peace of mind knowing you can.