News Releases

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Protecting Our Children, Information You Should Know

How many of us really know our neighbors? I say this because if you are a parent you should know who’s in your neighborhood and the families of the kids they are playing with. I may go a little overboard, but I am very careful where I let me kids go. I have two little girls ages 6 and 7. They are still pretty young, so I really don’t let them out of my sight. We live on a really nice street. Our neighbors seem good. I have known a lot of them for years. I still like to know what kind of people live near me. I like talking to the neighbors when I walk around the block, but I don’t know everyone.  I know you can’t prevent everything, but I sure try to at least be aware of my surroundings.

I have found several law enforcement and county web sites that are a great source of information to find out about sexual offenders and predators and crimes in your neighborhoods.  You can do the research yourself for free.   I even signed up for email alerts from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and crime reports, so I don’t have to remember to check the sites.

If you haven’t done a website search with the FDLE around your home, you should. It is pretty simple to do. You just log into the www.FDLE.state.fl.us  and go to the Offender Alert System. There you can sign up for emails to be sent to you if an offender or predator moves into your area. You can also check and see how close an offender may live to you. I want to know, so I can be aware. I am fortunate that I don’t have any sexual predators or offenders in my neighborhood. I not only check my own home, but the area around my children’s school and my immediate family’s homes. I let them know when I get any alerts, so they can be aware too.

The crime report for your neighborhood is located on the Pinellas County Government web site. You log into www.pinellascounty.org click on the crime viewer tab. You than put in your address and crimes in your area pop up. You can also get email alerts for crimes that happen in your area.

I’m not sharing this information with you to scare you, but to inform you and make you think before you leave your child at someone’s home for a birthday party, playdate or a sleepover. You also want to be careful who you let babysit your children. You really need to make sure the person you are leaving your child with doesn’t have a criminal background.  Most Sheriff’s office web sites will let you look up people by their first and last name to check out if they have a criminal background. If the person was arrested, you will see what they were arrested for, the date they were arrested and a mug shot.  

Aren’t your kids worth going the extra step and making sure that where they are hanging out is a safe place? To me, my children are my pride and joy. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to protect my children.







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