Column: OffenderWatch can help protect your family


Commentary by Chris Burcham


With the official start of summer right around the corner, your children are looking forward to spending time playing with their friends or at the local community pool or playground. It is crucial that you know where registered sex offenders reside and talk with your children about how to stay safe.

I invite you to visit and register your home and other important addresses to receive alerts when a registered sex offender moves nearby. Once you have registered an address, the system will automatically alert you via e-mail when an offender moves within a two-mile radius of the registered address.

If you plan on spending time with family or friends, register their address beforehand so you know where the registered sex offenders live. Register any and all addresses where your children spend a lot of time, for example at friends, grandparents or babysitter’s addresses. This keeps you up to date on newly registered sex offenders in your area without you having to do anything other than read your email alerts.

While visiting our website you can also view and print important safety tips to review with your children. It is the goal of our office is to provide accurate information to the public regarding the dangers of sexual predators and to further build community awareness.

To help us achieve this goal we use a program called OffenderWatch, the nation’s leading sex offender management and community notification tool. Since 2009, we have mailed out 815 sex offender postal notifications to our citizens. We are successful in achieving these results because OffenderWatch provides the most accurate and timely information available to the public.

Chris Burcham is a corporal with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.


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