By Abby Reed
LEA COUNTY, N.M. - Imagine receiving an email alert, letting you know that a registered sex offender has moved in down the street from your home, your child's daycare, or your job. A new website is doing just that in Lea County. It's a tool for residents and law enforcement.
Registered sex offenders are right at our fingertips online through the sex offender registry. Now, a new site in Lea County is taking that technology further.
"You can register any number of addresses that you want, your business, your child's school, day care centers," Lea County Sheriff, Rod Coffman, said.
When you register your address on the site, there are two options. The first, allows you to click search. Within seconds, the website pulls up any and all registered sex offenders who live within a two mile proximity or less.
"It will show you photographs of who they are, where they live, and what their charges are," Coffman said.
You can also register your address to receive email alerts that tell you when a sex offender moves nearby. The website is also a tool for law enforcement. They use it to keep tabs on registered sex offenders who might move to a new location.
"It sets up an alert, within a specified period of time, that there is someone that has reported to be moving to that area, but has failed to register," Coffman said.
NewsWest 9 showed the website to Jessica Rascon, who is a mother in Lea County. She has a three year old son, named Jaren. We found several sex offenders in her close proximity.
"There's no such thing as being too careful, when it comes to your children," Rascon said. "I'm actually surprised that there are so many offenders that live so close to me."
Rascon says she finds the site easy to navigate and plans to use it regularly, as a precautionary measure.
"You never know what's going to happen, and you never know when it's going to be your kid. I mean, you hope and pray that it's not ever going to happen to you, but you just never know," Rascon said.
According to Coffman, that's exactly what the site is meant for. He hopes other residents will use the site for the same thing.
"We're public safety, so we want to give them (the public) all the tools that we can, to help them feel more secure, and help us do our job," Coffman said.