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|New program allows public to track addresses of sex offenders|
Do you really know who lives a few doors down from you? Whose door will your children be knocking on when they go trick or treating Friday night?
In Concordia Parish, there are currently 21 registered sex offenders according to a new website tracking the addresses of offenders locally and statewide.
The new computer-based program unveiled by the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office Tuesday allows both the public and law enforcement to track the current addresses of convicted sexual offenders and child predators who have been released from prison.
"We are quite proud of this," said Sheriff Randy Maxwell. "And we hope the general public will take advantage of it."
The program is linked statewide as well as with other participating states.
"My hats off to everybody that put this system together," said Maxwell.
The easy to use program offers anyone interested in knowing the name, address and actual photo of the convicted offender, who has been mandated by state law to register an address with the local sheriff's office or police department.
You may check who is registered near you own address or an address in another part of the state. You may also sign up for email alerts for any changes in status of those offenders already registered or if a new offender is added.
Maxwell also suggests that parents may want to check the neighborhood surrounding their child's school, daycare or friends' homes. A variety of safety tips are also available through the website.
To check your neighborhood for offenders go to www.concordiasheriff.org. Click on blue link "Sex Offender Registry." Click the link at the top of the page that reads,
"Search for Offenders in Your Area." Enter address information and click "Search." A map and offender information for your area will appear. You may click on that person's name for more detailed information.
"This is an unbelievably easy program to use and it provides the latest information available to the public," said Maxwell. "This information is vital to parents who want to keep their children safe or to anyone living alone. It's just one more link in a cchain of safety measure that we should all take to keep ourselves and our families as safe as we can be in this day and age."
Louisiana law mandates an offender register with the sheriff's office, but to notify his or her neighbors of his new address and to advertise in the local newspaper. He or she must also notify the local superintendent, who in turn notifies the principal of every school within a one-mile radius of the sex offender's new address.
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