Tools For Tracking Sex Offenders - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Tools For Tracking Sex Offenders

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Laws limiting what sex offenders can and can't do on Halloween have recently changed.
     
Restrictions vary by each individual offender but for the most part in Illinois, sex offenders can't participate in holidays involving kids under 18, which means they can't hand out candy on Halloween. 

In Iowa, there is no law saying they can't participate in Halloween. That means they can hand out candy, though that's not encouraged, and they can go trick or treating with their kids. 
     
So local authorities recommend getting up to speed on all the new technology and different tools you can use to track sex offenders and help your kids stay safe.

"Halloween is not in the state law, it doesn't say they can't participate in Halloween or any of the activities," said Det. Thomas Leonard of the Scott County Sheriff's Department."
     
Staying safe this Halloween can be as easy as pulling out your phone or tablet.

"And you can scroll through everybody that's a registered sex offender in Scott County," said Leonard.
     
Names, criminal history, and addresses are all at the palm of your hand. 

"So if you wanna check your neighborhood and so forth, you can scroll through," said Leonard.
     
To get the latest and most up to date information on nearby sex offenders, authorities recommend using the official state sex offender registry websites, which can be pulled up on your computer, phone, or tablet. 

"You can make your own watch list, whatever you want to do," said Leonard.

There are apps you can get on your phone to check things on the go too. 

"What the apps are doing are finding that address and putting a pinpoint on that residence," said Leonard. "Just zoom in onto the general area where you live, the pinpoints pretty much indicate the general area that a sex offender does live."

If that doesn't put your mind at ease, probation officers have another tool.

"It goes on their ankle, it attaches with an electronic strap," said Richard Aleksiejczyk, probation and parole officer of the 7th Judicial District. "Once it's on, if the device is tampered with or the device is cut, there's a fiber optic cable inside that activates the command center."
     
GPS trackers are typically on sex offenders who's victim was a minor and in some cases offenders that failed to register. New technology allows authorities to track them anytime, anywhere, right from their phones.

Probation officers say they'll be keeping an even closer watch on this for Halloween, all to make sure everyone stays safe. 

You can search 'sex offender' in your app store to find these tools, but here are some recommended apps:



IA SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY: http://www.iowasexoffender.com/

IL SEX OFFENDER INFORMATION: http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/