How to Find Sex Offenders Near You
Protecting your family is an important part of being a parent. We all want to know the best ways to keep them safe at home, online, and in public. But have you thought about the people in your neighborhood?
Many people want to know if there is an online service to find and map sex offenders. Knowing this kind of tool exists can help you plan your next move, community event, or simply keep your child away from those who have been convicted of a crime and instructed to be on the sex offense registry.
Researching this information can be daunting. I would suggest that someone in your home be brave enough to look at this several times a year to make sure that you are aware of any dangers in your area.
Note: This article is for general information purposes only. It is intended to be used in a lawful and ethical manner. Also, not every person on a sex offender registry is a predator.
Now there are a variety of sites out there that will tell you they run a search based on your input of a state, name, zip code, or address. Many of these sites do provide legitimate information, however, I can’t seem to verify how up-to-date these services are. When you Google “sex offender map” you’ll get a few ads at the top of the page. Do not use these.
They will build you a profile based on the information you put in, but it will require an email address to get the information. This is just a ploy to get your email address. There are plenty of sites that do not require an email address because this is FREE information provided by law enforcement agencies.
What is Family Watchdog?
I suggest using FamilyWatchdog.us. This site does provide a map for you without an email address. The process is quick and easy. However, this site does not directly pull information from the official databases. Upon closer inspection, you will find that Family Watchdog search results are provided by BeenVerifyed.com, which is a data broker.
Family Watchdog provides fast information in an easy-to-use format. When searching your zip code you get a clean, Google Maps overlay with red, pink, and green markers on it. Those markers are registered sex offenders.
The Family Watchdog color code is red, pink, and green color which differentiates the degree of the offense. Red is the worst. When you click on a marker you get a profile on the offender with information like birth date, height, weight, and a photo. Green is the least offender who made the list. At the bottom, you can click on the charges leveled against that individual. This is a good tool to research the area surrounding your home, child’s school, and workplace.
How to use the NSOPW App
The National Sex Offender Public Registry has its very own app that you can use on your smartphone. The NSOPW (National Sex Offender Public Website) app uses your phone’s location to perform a search in a radius of up to one mile around you. You will need to submit to terms and conditions every time you use the app.
The map populates with house icons that let you know the name, address, and photo of the registered sex offender when you tap on it. You can click on the pop-up box for more information. If you need even more information you can click a link to the person’s profile on your state’s database to find critical information such as the degree of sexual conduct and if it was with a minor.
Remember not all sex offenders have committed acts against a minor. The app has a narrow scope of use, but it is still a good resource for families who travel or who are considering moving to a new neighborhood. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for free. Simply search for NSOPW.
How to See Sex Offenders On Google Maps
Many people search for how to locate sex offenders on Google Maps. This option does not exist. While some research sites may use a Google Maps engine on their website, Google itself will not provide that information. Your best bet is NSOPW.gov and FamilyWatchdog.us.
The Best Way to Research Sex Offenders In Your Area
When I searched the area around my home with the NSOPW app and Family Watchdog, I did find contrasting information. There were two near my home, one of which both services confirmed and the second differed.
If you need know how to find sex offenders near you I feel that the NSOPW app provides more reliable information. Looking at the NSOPW website you will find that it pulls information directly from the official databases whereas Family Watchdog provides information from BeenVerifiyed.com. If you want more search tools for your area, I suggest NSOPW.gov.
Both tools serve a good purpose. If you are casually looking for information then Family Watchdog can provide you with just that. For more serious information, I would suggest consulting the NSOPW app and website.
More Resources for Parents from The Secure Dad
Learn the 6 stages of grooming: https://www.thesecuredad.com/post/what-are-the-6-stages-of-grooming
How to Tell if Your Child is Being Groomed: https://www.thesecuredad.com/post/how-to-tell-if-your-child-is-being-groomed
Free Guide: Protecting Your Family From Sex Offenders: https://www.thesecuredad.com/offender