Family Watchdog Helps Parents Locate Registered Sex Offender

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 9.14.38 is a free service to help locate registered sex offenders in your area. No matter where you live, from modest to upscale neighborhood, it is safe to say that there are sex offenders nearby.

After entering my home address into the Family Watchdog data base,  I pulled up a list of 22 registered sex offenders that live within a 10 mile radius of my home. This didn’t thrill me, but I would rather be aware than ignorant.

Photos are usually included in the offender lists, along with names, addresses, and other identifying information. Since I have signed up for email alerts, I  receive an email any time an offender moves within a certain radius of my neighborhood.

You can go to to sign up to receive email alerts any time a sex offender moves in or out of your area. Here is an overview of how the site works.

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First, enter the address for which you want to do a search. In addition to entering your home, you might also want to search for information on specific schools, parks, playgrounds, or churches–anywhere that your children might play or spend time.


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The address search will pull up a registered offender map like the one at left. You can click various tabs: map, list, recent address changes, or previously viewed offenders.

The map view will show your area with squares at every place an offender resides. The map legend (you must click it to pull it down) shows the color coding for the squares and what each color means.


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The list view shows a list of all offenders within 5 miles of your selected area. This is the view that I prefer. Each offender’s name (in blue) can be clicked and detailed information given on him (i.e. address, distance from your area, convictions, photo).


Family Watchdog updates its site daily, and for some states, multiple times daily. When a change is made, the site updates in about 24 hours. The neighborhood maps are based on google maps and are updated approximately every six months.

There is a wealth of other helpful information that this site offers. If you want to be informed as to how to best use this free service, you can find everything you need to know here at frequently asked questions.