Website Helps Keep Track Of Registered Sex Offenders - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

1/28/07-Tyler

Website Helps Keep Track Of Registered Sex Offenders

There is a way you can keep tabs on registered sex offenders online. It's called "family watch dog", a site that lets you find out if any sex offenders are living in your neighborhood. The site averages five million hits a month, and has even picked up endorsements from Oprah Winfrey and "America's Most Wanted."  The site's creator told KLTV 7 News this is a valuable tool to keep your children safe.

"There's a lot of sex offenders and we really want people to consider the fact that it takes one of them to destroy somebody's life that you love," said Steve Roddel, president of  familywatchdog.us.

Roddel, the creator of "familywatchdog" says he started the website in 2005 after he found out a registered sex offender was living just 600 feet from his family's home. Even more troubling, when this father of three went to check his state's registered offenders website, the offender's name was nowhere to be found. "I was unable to find him on the registry because they had misspelled the street name," said Roddel.

Since launching his site in 2005, Roddel has compiled an extensive list of sex offenders nationwide, listing offenders' names, addresses, offenses, and even pictures.

When we went to see how many registered sex offenders the site lists in East Texas, the numbers were startling. "We've been able to map about 125 registered sex offenders within a five mile radius of downtown Tyler," said Roddel.  We found more than 80 who committed crimes against children.

In Longview we found 105 registered sex offenders.  More than 70 sex offenders were convicted of crimes against children.  In Jacksonville, we found a total of 26 registered sex offenders. Among them, 19 were convicted of sex crimes against children.

"We update the information on our website from the state every single day," said Roddel. The bottom line, Roddel says, if someone who poses a threat to you and your family moves into your neighborhood, he and his team will be watching.

Roddel says you can access the website free of charge on your computer or on your cell phone if you have web browser capabilities. The website is also in Spanish.    

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com 

 

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