New search features help parents track sex offenders - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

New search features help parents track sex offenders

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
(Toledo News Now) -

A new effort in Ohio isaimed at keeping people informed and children safe from registered sexoffenders.

Sometimes knowing where asex offender lives is not enough. A new part of Ohio's electronic sex offenderdatabase will allow people to search unfamiliar phone numbers, email addresses,screen names and even video game handles to see if the person on the other endis a registered sex offender.

Wood County Sheriff MarkWasylyshyn says the new feature can be a huge benefit to parents.

"It gives them a littlemore peace of mind that if their child is getting an email and they don't knowwho it is, they can find out," the sheriff said.

If it turns out thatperson is a registered sex offender, Sheriff Wasylyshyn encourages you toreport them.

"What we're going to findout is: Did they violate any laws or their probation, their rules that they'reliving under as a registered sex offender?" he explained.

He says parents should alwaysbe cautious when someone is communicating with their child, whether the personis a sex offender or not.

"When there's someonecommunicating with your child, you need to know who it is," he said. "It maynot be a registered sex offender because maybe they haven't been caught doingwhatever it is they're doing."

Ohio is one of only eightstates that offers this new sex offender reverse lookup feature.

If you want to stayinformed, sign up online through the local sheriff's office for emailnotifications when a sex offender moves to your neighborhood.

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