COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you've ever wondered whether a convicted sex offender might be living in your neighborhood, now there's an improved tool at your disposal and all you need is an Internet connection.
Richland Representative Joan Brady recently pushed legislation imposing residency restrictions that prohibit sex offenders from living within a thousand feet of schools, day care centers and other places where children congregate. The legislation also required more comprehensive online information. The State Law Enforcement Division has been posting sex offender information online for years, but now their enhanced database of names, addresses, photos and background is featured on a Web site called "Offender Watch".
This new generation of SLED's sex offender registry makes it easier for users to pinpoint where offenders live in relation to schools and child care facilities and even includes safety tips for parents. OffenderWatch also features automatic email alerts when a sex criminal moves into a neighborhood.
As parents, we must remain vigilant and educate our children about potential dangers out there, but this new sex offender legislation and database registry go a long way towards keeping us more informed and secure.
That's my perspective. What's yours?