This terrible tragedy sparked a grass-roots movement to revise registration requirements and to give law enforcement the authority to notify potential victims of dangerous individuals. Today, many of California's 86, registered sex offenders can be viewed by anyone with access to the Internet at the Megan's Law website. In Merced County alone, there are over registered sex offenders- over of them living within the city limits of Merced. Sex offenders are required to notify law enforcement of any changes in their residence within 5 working days of the change as well as a yearly update- even if there are no changes.
At the Merced Police Department, registrations are conducted twice weekly during which offenders are interviewed, photographed, and fingerprinted.
Additionally, DNA samples are collected at that time from all offenders who have not previously supplied a sample. The offender's current information is maintained in a computerized data base which is available to patrol officers and investigators You can reduce your risk of becoming a victim by taking simple precautions: Practice good security- at home, at the office, and in your vehicle.
Be alert to locations and situations that make you and your family vulnerable to crime, and be aware of people around you and your family. Educate yourself on crime prevention tactics. Teach your children to avoid situations that put them in danger of abuse, molestation or abduction. Help protect your child by establishing a home environment where your child feels safe to tell you anything, without fear of shame, ridicule or punishment.
A safe and supportive home environment, combined with clear instructions about what behavior is acceptable and what is not, will guide your child's actions and encourage your child to tell you if something improper happens.
Many parents warn their children not to talk to strangers. However, often the abuser or abductor is not a stranger but someone the child knows. He or she can be a school bus driver, teacher, relative, neighbor, or friend. Here are some specific rules you can teach your child: Stay away from people who call you near their car, even if they offer to take you somewhere exciting.
This is not my father or mother. Don't wander around on your own. You don't have to keep secrets from your parents. No one can hurt your parents or pets if you tell what happened. No one should touch you in the parts covered by your bathing suit, and you should not be asked to touch anyone there. Don't let anyone take your picture without permission from your parents or teacher. It is not intended to promote vigilante acts. Criminal misuse of the information subjects the person s who misuses it to a sentence enhancement in addition to the punishment mandated for the crime.
Arm yourself with information.