Do you know how to find out if a sex offender lives in your neighborhood? One phone call and may bring you greater peace of mind. Children are especially vulnerable to sex criminals. So, how do you keep them safe? One answer is to know your neighborhood. Sex offenders living in Tulsa have to register with the police department. The information used to be available only to schools, churches and daycares, but not anymore. Now, anyone can find out where sex offenders live and get their name and address. "I think it's comforting, especially if you have kids playing on your block. You can find out if a sex offender lives on your street and tell the kids to stay away from this person," says Sergeant Pat Calhoun, Sex Crimes Unit of the Tulsa Police Department .
News on Six Crime Reporter Lori Shell had Sergeant Calhoun check her neighborhood, which is located in the 74104 zip code. He found 12 registered sex offenders. The nearest one living several blocks from her home.
In addition to creating this new public database, sex crime detectives are also mailing letters to all the registered sex offenders, to make sure they're living where they claim. "The problem is people come to us straight out of jail and are living at the YMCA or Salvation Army and we never know where they end up. That's why we're checking them," says Sergeant Calhoun.
After the letters, the officers will go door-to-door, checking on the sex offenders in person. Sergeant Calhourn explains that "Sex offenders repeat their crimes often, so we need to know where they live and what car they drive so if there is a complaint or an eye witness sees a car fitting the description, we can narrow it down very quickly."
Tulsa is the only police department in Oklahoma keeping track of sex offenders in this manner. It is hoped a proactive approach protects children and adults from sexual predators. You can call the police divisions in north, east and southwest Tulsa for the sex offender information or call the sex crimes unit at (918) 596-9150. The department will also add the sex offender information to its website in late August. The address for the website is: