As Jason and I try to find a place to live in a city with which we are not too familiar, we have to rely on certain tools to figure out if a neighborhood is worthy to house the Wells family. One of those tools is crime mapper that show the different types of crimes that have occurred in that area in the past few months; the other one is a sex offender search.
Tonight, I entered the address of a place we are considering into the Arizona sex offender database. It pops up a three-square mile map that shows where sex offenders live, as well as locations of schools and daycare centers. Fortunately, there were no sex offenders in the exact neighborhood of the potential house. However, I did notice an extremely disturbing trend: It appeared that there were little clusters of sex offenders living near most of the schools and daycare centers! I was chatting with my cousin at the time, and she had me search her address, too - which is in a decidedly nicer neighborhood - and we found the same thing! Not only is that extremely creepy, but isn't that against the rules? If not, it should be. In some cases, the sex offender appeared to live literally next door or within a few houses of the school or daycare. That just sketches me out.
So, I would suggest that if you haven't already, you might want to check out your state's sex offender database. It probably won't convince you to move, and it probably won't convince me not move somewhere (unless of course I discover that one is living right next door...that might be a little too much to handle) but at least by knowing you can be a little more aware of your surroundings - especially if you find the creepy sex offender clusters near your child's school or daycare! I'd be curious to know if this trend occurs in other cities...Let me know what you find out.