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Crime in Focus: Is a registered sex offender near you? | News

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Crime in Focus: Is a registered sex offender near you?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With more than 500,000 registered sex offenders nationwide, 7,000 of those in Arkansas many are constantly on the move.

According to the National Alert Registry, 58% of victims are under the age of 12.

The Family Watchdog website was created in 2006 after the murder of Jessica Lunsford in Florida to protect families against predators.

The service allows the public to view known registered offenders and predators in their area. This is a tool that Little Rock Police Officer Michelle Hill says is vital.

"It's all about knowledge," says Officer Howard. "If you have that information, then you can take appropriate measures. You can keep an eye on things and if somebody is within a school zone or a church area then you can contact police and they will be fine and they will have to move or be removed."

To use Family Watchdog, just enter an address and a map will pop up. Click on the squares that appear and see photos (where available), addresses, convictions and other information about the offender.

There is also a notification service available. You specify addresses that you want to watch and the distance around those addresses. As soon as a convicted sex offender registers an address in your area, the website will alert you.

"The peace of mind knowing you know who's next door, who's in the neighborhood or that there is not anybody around is just priceless," says Officer Howard.