Nation’s Leading Sex Offender Registry Network Provides Tips with Law Enforcement to Keep Kids Safe

As children head back to the classroom, OffenderWatch, the nation’s leading sex offender registry network, has partnered with local Florida law enforcement offices to share tips for parents on how to talk to their children about warning signs of sex offenders and safety tips.

More than a dozen Florida sheriffs’ offices and police departments participate in the OffenderWatch network, which helps law enforcement agencies work from one offender record and share critical information across agencies and state lines. OffenderWatch also partners with law enforcement to send community email and mail notifications to citizens when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

Safety Tips for Talking to Your Child About Sex Offenders
• Avoid scary details. Include general information when speaking to children. You know more than your child needs to know. Use language that is honest and age-appropriate (e.g. “There are people who do bad things to children.”).
• If your children could possibly have contact with a registered sex offender, you should show your children the sex offender’s photo. In a manner that does not incite panic: Instruct your children to avoid contact with the offender, even if the offender’s offenses of conviction does not involve an offense against a child. Instruct them to avoid being near the offender’s residence or workplace.
• Encourage your children to tell you if the sex offender initiates contact with them.
• Encourage your children to tell you about any contact from any other person who makes them feel uncomfortable. It is important to teach your children about appropriate and inappropriate contact and to encourage regular discussion about their interactions with other people.
• Teach your children: DON’T take rides from strangers; DON’T harass or visit any sex offender’s home or yard; DO tell a safe adult if anyone acts inappropriately toward them (e.g. creepy, too friendly, threatening, offering gifts in a secret way, or touching them); DO RUN, SCREAM, and GET AWAY if someone is bothering them; DON’T keep secrets; DON’T assist strangers; DON’T go places alone; DO ask questions and DO talk about any uncomfortable feelings or interactions.
• Make it a habit to listen to your children and to believe them.

For more safety tips and information, please visit the website below.

Access More Safety Tips & Resources Online
• To access additional safety tips and parent resources, please visit http://communitynotification.com/counties.php?state=FL and click on your sheriff’s office link.
• Once on your sheriff’s office page, click the “Safety Tips” tab at the top of the page.

Sign-Up for Sex Offender Community Notifications
Sign up to receive community notifications when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood or near another address. To register for the free communications, visit:
http://communitynotification.com/counties.php?state=FL
• Click on your county’s Sheriff’s Office, and then click on “Register for Email Alerts.”

Read the story on the Boca Raton Tribunehttp://www.bocaratontribune.com/bocaratonnews/2018/09/sex-offender-safety-tips/