Tuesday, August 20, 2013

There Goes the Neighborhood...Again!

I just found out there are four registered sex offenders living in our apartment complex. Four.

I found out because one of Collin's co-workers, about to move into an apartment here, backed out because she made this discovery. We've been here over seven years and knew nothing of it. We knew about the druggies--the smell of pot lingering in the air is hard to miss (okay, I had to be told that stench wasn't just someone's really bad cooking, but now that I know....). We knew about the thefts and robberies. But this is news. Bad news.



It seems to me that anyone moving into the property should be informed of such tenants. Yes, I know, right to privacy and all that--our laws do more to protect the criminals than they do to protect law-abiding citizens--but don't we have a right to know our safety might be at risk?

Collin and I decided a while back to get our conceal and carry permits. The more I hear about our neighbors here, the more certain I am that it was the right decision.

As anyone who's been following this blog knows, I've had issues with the kids in our immediate area. The parents do little to monitor their activities. Even very young children are out and about, unattended, late at night. I wonder if these parents would be so cavalier about their kids if they knew there were predators nearby?

I swear, this has always been a good neighborhood--solid middle class, lots of families, good schools, shopping and entertainment nearby--in spite of how it sounds. Some of the apartment complexes have developed bad reputations, however. Allowing sex offenders and drug users does nothing to improve those bad reps, but still they're approved as renters.

I think landlords have an obligation to alert their tenants to the presence of registered sex offenders. I'll go further and say complexes that are family-friendly should be able and willing to reject sex offenders as tenants. What do you think?

*****

*Be sure you check out William's blog taking aim at summer and our joint blog on Sherlock Holmes!

20 comments:

  1. Definitely not the sort of people you want to be living nearby....

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  2. Not the best way to improve the property's reputation, that's for sure!

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  3. It seems extremely common sense to alert tenants to the presence of registered sex offenders, especially if there are children on the property. Right to privacy is one thing, but how about right to know that the risk that your children just increased? (I appreciate not every single offender will offend again, but statistically the odds don't look so good...and yes I work in statistics for a living, so I also appreciate the power of proper stats.)

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    1. I agree! If statistics have shown us anything, it's that a reformed offender is quite rare. There was a story on the news this morning about a woman who had been using a certain company to do work in her home. The company didn't check sex offender records on their employees, and her four-year-old daughter somehow ended up alone in a room with a registered sex offender.

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  4. That sounds kind of scary Norma. Maybe it's time you found a new place to live. Of course it's easy to say and hard to do but the signs are ominously pointing to 'find a fresh new place'.

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    1. The problem is that in moving there would be no guarantee we wouldn't end up with more of them as neighbors somewhere else...unless we bought a house in a really isolated area.

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  5. This is a problem.
    As I understand there is a web site you can go on to see who is living in your area but I could be wrong. I looked up break in, car thefts and robberies when I moved here.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. There is--that's how Collin's friend found out we had four here.

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  6. Since my original comment didn't make it, I'll try to remember what I said.

    A friend of mine told me that in their complex someone (not her), learned by looking through the site that gives the names of these preditors, found out one was in their appartment complex. She printed out copies of his file (or whatever), and slipped it under the doors of everyone (except his), to notify them.

    I can't believe you've got 4 of them!

    Hopefully it won't come to your using the gun. My husband says that a nice double-barrel shot gun is as good to point at someone, to scare the living doo-doo out of them. But my advice, if it comes down to actually having to use the weapon: Shoot to kill, not maime.

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  7. I think your expectations of your landlord are too high - do they ever do the right thing?! ;) It's really too bad that this has happened to your once reputable neighbourhood.

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    1. I doubt our leasing office even knows about them. They don't really run a lot of background checks on potential tenants.

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  8. I know they have to live somewhere but...I know, they can all go to hell! When we were stationed in Kansas, we found out there were several living near the park we always took our kids to. Then when I cleaned houses (and took Kaitlin with me)she played outside with the client's boy. Later the mom told me that a registered sex offender lived a few doors down. I had seen him in and out several times. I dropped that client. The rules about them not living near parks and schools are often broken because they stay with family or friends. Shouldn't they be held accountable for where they live?

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    1. I agree, Krisztina--they have to live somewhere, so I vote for prison!

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  9. It's been said that sexual predators are incapable of rehabilitation. Many states have laws requiring that sexual offenders report to their community who and what they are. We don't need more laws. We need to enforce the ones we have. Sometimes we must be our own enforcers. Glad to hear you are packing heat, Norma.

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    1. We do. We can't always count on the law to protect us.

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  10. It's scary. You actually can check online at any time to see if there are any in your area. So even tho they don't let you know directly, the info is posted and it's a good idea to check regularly. Having small children, we do!
    Weirdos are everywhere, and sometimes even tho they're registered offenders, the offense is something minor. But still, good to know!

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  11. Gosh it always amazes me when Americans talk about owning guns, it's just so alien here..I would be terrified to have one in the house..I might be tempted to shoot the builders this week :))

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