March 17, 2005 – Posted at 4:15 p.m. CST
JONESBORO -- Buying a home can be a big decision. There are many things to consider, such as mortgages, schools and something else that might not readily pop into your mind...the location of registered sex offenders. But a new notification program through the Jonesboro Police Department is changing that.
Sgt. Stephen McDaniel of the Jonesboro Police Department, "We handed out approximately 6,000 flyers and we plan to continue to do more."
There are more than 90-registered sex offenders in Jonesboro, and police have been working to notify folks who live near them.
"The program is developing and we are looking at angels on how to notify many different entities and individuals in town," said McDaniel.
But what if you are buying a home and are new to the area? How do you find out where they are?
"People do come in and they want to know about crime statistics in their neighborhood or subdivision, or if there are sexual offenders, especially couples with young children," said Crye-Leike Realtor Felicia Johnson.
"One of the best ways to find out or to start with, for people who are internet savvy, is to log on and check out www.acic.org ," said McDaniel, "They should have it listed there the registered sex offenders in this area."
Real estate agents aren't officially notified of where sexual offenders live. Agents can't legally tell you who your neighbors are, but they can lead you into the right direction.
"We can't really disclose who your next door neighbor will be, we can't give out race, things of that nature," said Johnson, "So what we try to do as far as crime, sexual offenders is lead them to the Jonesboro Police Department."
And it's your responsibility as a buyer to find out.
"We don't have a system in place to notify the real estate agencies. It's going to be a large undertaking to notify the real estate agencies," said McDaniel.