Alert ID launched in Ohio shows where sex offenders work & live - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New app, website launched to alert of area sex offenders

HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

A new application and website is available that makes it easier to find out where sex offenders live and work.

It's called Alert ID and the app made its debut in Ohio in September.

There are roughly 1,400 sex offenders in Hamilton County. Chances are you don't know where the majority of them live or work. but now this new technology is something that can help protect you and your family.

"Should I let my child walk to school alone? Maybe I'll make sure they'll walk in groups, or maybe we'll make sure they take a different route. How well do you know the area that you spend time in," said Alert ID founder Keli Wilson.

"You just want your kids to be safe and if they're playing in the park you want sure they can roam without being in any danger," explains Parris McCants.

But what is it that requires someone to register as a sex offender? Deputy Margarita Mergy says it's a wide range of offenses.

"A sexual imposition where a gentleman would grab a female's buttocks could cause you to become a registered sex offender up until rape," said Mergy.

Deputy Mergy works in the sex offender program with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and she says there were only 50 registered offenders in 1997. She says the increase is because of new guidelines at the state and federal level.

"They're adding on more charges and different offenses where they're different in nature, so it could be minor it could be major but they're going up," says Mergy.

Keli Wilson is the founder of Alert ID and she says she understands this information has been available for years, but now it's available all in one place.

"It's public information by law but we took it one step further and make sure we push this information out to the public," explains Wilson.

Once signed up, members can even communicate with each other in a group chat to talk about community activity within a one mile radius of your address. Mergy stresses that even if you are up to date on this information, it's important to still be careful.

"Know who's around you, just because you know the sex offender lives nearby, you have other offenders who may nearby or someone who hasn't been convicted," said Mergy.

Alert ID is also available in Indiana and Kentucky. For more information or to download the app, visit https://alertid.com/default.asp

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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