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How-To: Check Your Area for Registered Sex Offenders

We’ve all seen those famous images of vans that say “Free Candy” but we’re all a little too smart to fall for that (at least I would hope!). Every once in a while, you have those moments when you run into someone who you find extremely creepy or things just don’t seem right. Young or old, female or male, some people just automatically scream creep. I admit most of the time we are passing judgment but you can never be too safe.

 

One of the ways I stay safe is by checking the registry for sex offenders registered in the state of Maryland. When I first found out the database was online I checked it out of curiosity. Back then I was in high school and I felt my neighborhood was pretty safe, or at least my little section of it. It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that things hit home. One of my closest friends was searching the registered sex offenders list and she sent me a picture of someone on there that went to high school with us! At that point I knew it was something I should probably keep up with.

 

By visiting the website for Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services you can look up sex offenders by name, zip code, offender type or by interactive map. The website is very easy to use and gives detailed information about each offender. Want to check the website? There are two simple steps:

 

1.     Go to Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

2.     Pick an area to search; zip code is often easiest (TU = 21252; the mall = 21204)

 

There aren’t any offenders with the TU zip code but there are 13 registered sex offenders with the same zip code as the mall. Now the zip code does not only specify where the person lives but may also pertain to where the person works. The website also tells you what type of offense the person has. For example, the highest offense is a Tier III, which includes kidnapping and rape, and the lowest offense is a Tier I, which includes sex trafficking and possession of child pornography.

 

For all of our readers originally from New Jersey, you can check registered sex offenders in your home state by visiting New Jersey State Police. The website works a little differently but is pretty simple to figure out.

There are plenty of other ways to safe on a college campus like making sure you don’t travel alone at night unless you absolutely must and telling your friends when you are going out with someone new. One of my friend’s even carries around a pink tube of pepper spray when she travels alone to help with her safety. You can never be too careful but you can always try your best!

 

Erin is a Mass Communications student at Towson University studying Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations. She is the Editor-In-Chief, Campus Correspondent and President of Her Campus Towson. Erin has been writing for Her Campus Towson since fall 2011 and worked as an intern for Sister 2 Sister Magazine in summer 2013. She competed in the 2012 Miss Maryland USA pageant and has since done some print modeling as a hobby. 
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