Safeguard against sexual predators

Published 10:18am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The number of sex offenders in Shelby County has risen slightly from last year to break the 200 mark.

Last year, 189 sex offenders were registered in the county; this year, there are 200 — increasing by 11 the number of sex offenders our patrol deputies must keep up with.

While the law does not require our deputies to visit registered sex offenders, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office schedules visits twice a year to hold offenders accountable.

We applaud the sheriff’s office for doing what it can to keep sex offenders in check and verify that they are living where they should be.

However, the sheriff’s office cannot keep a constant eye on every offender in the county. Check out our map of registered sex offenders on page 10A and the corresponding list of names and addresses. See if any of those offenders are living in your neighborhood or your city.

If so, take basic measures to stay safe. Be sure to alert your neighbors and family members so they will know to watch out as well.

Also, take advantage of the sheriff’s office website at Shelbyso.com. You can keep up with the sex offender registry anytime, allowing you to see if the number of offenders has changed in your neighborhood or city.

Also on page 10A, you can see the definitions of various sexual crimes. If you do have a registered offender living nearby, you can know what he or she was charged with.

However, don’t let watching out for registered offenders blind you to those who might not be registered.

Go over ground rules with your loved ones and your children. Make sure they know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

We must take advantage of the information we have at our fingertips in order to protect potential victims from sexual crimes.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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