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Whether you have kids running around outside or you're trying to plan a safe jogging route, knowing where the sex offenders in your neighborhood live is your legal right and an important part of staying safe.

This is thanks to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. If you recognize that name, it's because he was the son of the host of America's Most Wanted, John Walsh. Adam was horrifically murdered after being abducted from a shopping mall.

There are multiple resources to obtain this information. However, I've found that Family Watchdog has the easiest map to interpret with its color-coded tacks. Sadly, the pervasive red tacks are all offenses against children. The image above is Southwest Lubbock.

Clicking on a tack takes you to the sex offender's name and, if available, their photo. Their charges, exact address, and any "markings" are listed below. For instance, I picked a tack nearish the radio station. I discovered a man whose charge was "aggravated sexual assault."

Some cursory Googling of the offender's name will lead you to newspaper articles and other materials should you choose to do some deeper research. Some sex offenders are considered to be very low risk, and others are quite actively dangerous. The man I looked up assaulted a 14-year-old girl and is considered a moderate risk. My daughter will NOT be walking by his home.   

To do your own search, head over to Family Watchdog's website and enter the criteria that suits you, whether it's your address or zip code.

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