Don’t take your kids trick or treating at any crack houses, yards guarded by dogs dripping blood from their teeth – or the home of any sex offender.
Halloween safety news releases have been screaming through my e-mail inbox all week, many warning parents to avoid these perverted predators.
The releases come complete with a link on how to find the offenders: http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Sex_Offender/
Out of curiosity, I entered my midtown zip code and found 24 registered sex offenders live within it, with 29 living just outside its boundaries.
The site does not list every convicted sex offender, only those who were determined to have an intermediate or high risk of repeating their deviant behavior, the level 2 and level 3 offenders.
The TucsonCitizen.com’s office, located at the corner of Park and Irvington avenues, has a zip code containing 19 registered sex offenders and 60 in the immediately surrounding area.
An additional 19 may live around there – their addresses have not been verified – and one guy was registered as a homeless sex offender. Records state he lurks in the area of Alvernon Way and Interstate 10.
I narrowed down the search to a 3-mile radius of the office’s exact address, a radius that overlaps different zip codes, and found 22 offenders. The map also pointed out that same area contained 21 day care centers and 14 schools.
“There is no law restricting where an offender may live,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety site said, “however, if an offender is on probation/parole, the respective probation department may impose restrictions on living arrangements.”
Perhaps the department would suggest he not move in next door to a day care or school.
Roughly 14,500 registered sex offenders are peppered throughout the state. With an overall population of 6.5 million, that would mean one out of every 450 people in Arizona is a registered sex offender.
Think about that next time you are at an event with 500 or more.
Just to make matters more interesting, the Arizona Department of Public Safety site also lists 212 sex offender absconders, or those who never bothered to register their whereabouts.
So where the heck are we supposed to go trick or treating?
While a sex offender handing out JuJu Bees may not be likely to grab a little ghost or goblin if his or her parents are standing right behind them – you never know.
Yes, a good number of the crimes were child molestation. And yes, this whole topic makes me sick.
Will you be checking the map before heading out trick or treating?
Is cautioning the public about the sex offenders in the area a valid warning or an unnecessary panic tactic?