Smartphone app finds sex offenders in your neighborhood - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Smartphone app finds sex offenders in your neighborhood

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Having a sex offender move into your neighborhood would make any parent nervous.

Now there's a new app for that which can help you keep your kids safe.          

KSFY News spoke with one parent who downloaded the app to find out what she think about it.

The app, Alert ID, recently added South Dakota to it's database of sex offenders.     

We spoke with a parent who downloaded the app and sees it as a reminder, not only of who might be living around you and your kids but also to have a talk with your kids.

No parent is glad to hear a sex offender has moved into the neighborhood.

Francesca Pokett, a mother of two, said "it makes me pretty nervous because I mean , if it happened once, it could happen again. But hopefully they learned their lesson and learned not to do it again."

But some would consider that knowledge as power and not fear.

"It helps to know where they're at so then you know if you go on a family walk, you can avoid that area, stay away from one area more than others," Pokett said.

The smartphone app Alert ID recently added South Dakota sex offenders to its database.  Once you take a look at your neighborhood, you might be surprised by what you see.

Randy Stewart, executive director at Apple Tree Children's Centers said "I assumed there were but the numbers and some of the concentrations around town are quite shocking.  I would not have guessed it was that extreme."

After seeing just how many sex offenders are living near by, Francesca believes parents can use this as chance to take action and have a talk with their kids.

"I would let my kids know, people do bad things sometimes and they get in trouble for it. 'Don't talk to strangers, don't take candy from them. If they make you feel uneasy, walk away and go to someone you know,'" Pokett said.

Many parents may check out their neighborhood online for crimes, but having an app for that can keep you updated at all times.

"It makes me feel really safe and at ease and know that it's at the touch of my finger," Pokett said.

One parent I spoke with, had a different reaction to most. He believes even though they are sex offenders, that their privacy may be invaded.    

The Alert ID app does give detailed information about the convictions and includes pictures.

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