Police: Parents should check sex offender registry to help protect kids from predators

Cybersafe Parent

With school back in swing, parents should check the sex offender registry to protect kids

School is back in session, and to help protect our kids, local law enforcement recommend parents check the sex offender registry online. They say it’s smart to be aware of where sex offenders live as our students walk to school and play over at other kids’ houses. Huntsville police say they stay busy with these types of cases and have an investigator who works solely on crimes involving sex offenders. They want parents to be aware of the most common ways they see these predators attacking children.

As of now, there are 185 sex offenders registered in Huntsville. Lt. Michael Johnson, Public Information Officer for Huntsville Police, says the department hasn’t seen a significant increase in sex offenders in recent years, however, they do stay busy with these cases. When it comes to these types of crimes, there are generally two story lines police see.

“Some of the most common things we see in these reports when we read them and start investigating them usually deal with some portal of the Internet — it can be an app on the phone and some communication,” said Lt. Johnson.

That’s why he says it’s crucial to monitor your child’s device use. Here is another way they often see predators attack kids:

“It can be some type of visitation, whether it’s a sleepover — innocent sleepover with friends or relatives,” he said. “We would behoove upon parents to take the necessary steps and precautions to protect very young children.”

Sex offenders on the notification list for life are required to check in with Huntsville police once a month. The investigator assigned to these cases can also show up randomly to where the sex offender lives.

Lt. Johnson says each year they find that an average of 30-45 sex offenders move without telling police or don’t actually live where they say they live.

“In that case, they have violated the notification law, and they are subject to get a warrant for their arrest, which we do,” said Lt. Johnson.

A full list of local sex offenders can be found here: https://www.alea.gov/node/270

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