Who Lives Next Door?

by Christa Lollis

Registered sex offenders are in every town and city, including those in East Texas. Going through your neighborhood you may not realize who you live next to. "In some cases all those neighbors may not be welcome and registered sex offenders frequently are not welcome and they do have to register for a reason and one of those reasons is so the neighborhood and the people in the cities can keep up with them and know where they're at and know where they're living," Lt. David Young with Lufkin Police said.

The city of Lufkin has a map on their website to help residents know exactly who they live around. The DPS website is also a search engine to find offenders. Police say locating them is the first step to keeping your family safe. Young says, "A lot of people say what should a parent do, well, not all sex offenders offend against children. A lot of registered sex offenders wouldn't dare hurt a child. They offend against an adult woman and for one reason or another they obviously wound up guilty of a crime and had to register, but not all sex offenders are equal." The possibility of repeating the crime keeps Lufkin police constantly on alert. They check in with local offenders at least once a month. "We feel it's a risky enough proposition in the historical data that they tend to reoffend even higher than other felons that it's worth monitoring these people and making sure they're where they're supposed to be and living up to their registration obligations," Young explained.

In the east Texas area there are hundreds of registered sex offenders but with the watchful eye of police and area residents, it will lower the chances of an offender from striking again. "Anyone of these is way too many. It's disheartening to see any child victim of a sexual assault. But, yes, we see those assaults on a very regular basis," Young told KTRE.  If you suspect someone is a sexual offender you should contact police.