A while ago, I linked to one of the most useful sites on the web for parents — mapsexoffenders.com. Someone far more clever than I got the bright idea of combining states’ online registry of sex offenders and Google Maps into a single site where the residents of 42 states can plug in their address and get a representation of every registered sex offender in their neighborhood. For example, when I lived in Manchester, I had 75 of them within a couple blocks of me — including two across the street. Now in my new neighborhood, there are only a couple. (Having no children, it’s purely an academic curiosity for me.)
Well, a friend of mine recently discovered that there was a registered sex offender in his neighborhood. In fact, right around the corner, and his family has had dealings with him before — not pleasant ones. His kids described him as “creepy,” and he was on the one hand glad his kids’ instincts were correct, while horrified to discover just how well-founded they were.
So now my friend has a dilemma. His kids now know to stay the hell away from this dirtbag, and to do the same for their friends. But what are my friend’s responsibilities in this area? He would like to look out for his neighbors (most specifically, his neighbor’s kids), but at the same time doesn’t want to become the focus of this slimeball’s anger.
One idea was anonymous flyers posted around the neighborhood. I think that might be the best solution, but I promised him I’d toss out the situation to you fine folks and see just what your ideas would be.
And no, the answer cannot involve Rottweilers, shotguns, or wood chippers.