Las Vegas police recently partnered with the Offender Watch app ahead of Halloween to let parents know where sex offenders live in their neighborhoods.
The LVMPD said they worked with the app to provide the community with addresses under the department’s jurisdiction that parents may want to avoid when trick-or-treating.
“TRICK-OR-TREAT WITH THIS NEW APP! We have partnered with Offender Watch to provide a FREE smartphone app for anyone to view the locations of registered sex offenders’ home addresses within our jurisdiction,” the LVMPD wrote on Twitter.
According to the app’s website, Offender Watch allows parents to “track your children, map offenders nearby, get alerts if your child is contacted or lingers near an offender’s residence, safety tips and more.”
The company partners with law enforcement agencies to analyze data and compile a sex offender registry for public access.
“Simply download the Offender Watch app, available in the Google Play store or Apple App store, and register your information,” LVMPD wrote in a recent tweet. “This can be a great tool for parents to identify houses that they may want to avoid while trick-or-treating.”
Sergeant Jeremy Hendricks with the department said police get “a lot of calls” around Halloween regarding sex offenders.
“This is just an application that’s definitely helpful for the community,” Hendricks said. “[It’s] kind of for public awareness but also gives you some peace of mind because your neighbor could be a sex offender, for all you know.”
The app also provides other information in addition to addresses, such as names, photos and distinguishing characteristics that registered sex offenders may have, like tattoos.
Information regarding sex offender tier levels and offenders’ previous convictions for sexual crimes are also available on the app, along with a list of Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters and guardians.
LVMPD Sergeant Miguel Garcia said the department’s sex offender application team is also “knocking on doors of known sex offenders to make sure they’re registered and living at the address they’re registered to,” ensuring that the app is providing accurate information.
The department stated in a press release that the Nevada State Sex Offender Registry publishes identities of sex offenders for tier 2- and tier 3-level crimes, as well as tier 1 with a minor.
The app is not intended to replace the community notification process of publishing sex offender-related information.