Before you take your child trick-or-treating, you may want to consider their route for traffic, sidewalks, street lights and possibly even sexual offenders and predators.
In the case of the latter, public registries remain controversial. Some addresses are outdated and there is a concern that such databases create a false sense of security and lead to unfair harassment of people on them, assuming they deserved to be on them in the first place.
The state of Florida makes such information available through a public website operated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. You can enter your home address or the address where your child will be spending Halloween and then search by varying distances up to a maximum five-mile radius. The database contains the names, offenses and last known addresses of the state’s registered sexual offenders and predators.
See also Sex Offender Advocates Object To Local Mapping Of Registered Sex Criminals
Sexual offenders are classified by Florida as people who have been convicted of sexual misconduct in the past. That misconduct may include offenses ranging from computer pornography and video voyeurism to sexual battery. Sexual predators are people who have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and who have also been designated by a court to be sexual predators, according to Florida officials.
To illustrate the sheer volume of people on the list, Patch searched the database using a recognized landmark — in this case the city of Bradenton police headquarters — to pull up the total number of offenders within a 5-mile radius.
Here’s what we found:
Bradenton Police Department Headquarters, 100 10th Street West, Bradenton
- FDLE records indicate 420 registered offenders and predators within a 5-mile radius of police headquarters.
How to Search Your Neighborhood
Visit the FDLE’s website to get started. To pull up a map of all registered offenders and predators within a specific neighborhood, click on “Neighborhood Search.” From there, type in your home address or the address of a point of interest and add the city name or ZIP code.
The tool allows you to start your searches in an area as small as a ¼-mile radius of the listed address up to a 5-mile radius. Results can be displayed in list or map form.