Police warn parents of lurking sex offenders during Summer

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With Summer break officially underway and the temperatures rising, children are heading to the pools, parks, and playgrounds. But children and parents may need to watch out for sex offenders trying to take advantage of the Summer months.

"The people are so wonderful and friendly as we are here in South Louisiana, but we do have to take extra precaution when we're out here," said Courtney Dornier, a nanny who loves bringing children to the playground across from City Park on Dalrymple.

The reason Dornier says she's paranoid is because of the people who do not have children to bring to the park, but may randomly be roaming around -- sex offenders.

"There are almost 9,000 active sex offenders on the State Police registry," said State Police Capt. Doug Cain. "Everything from sexual offenses to aggravated incest, and aggravated rape. Some of the most heinous crimes there are on the law books."

A State Police web site allows people to check for the exact locations of registered sex offenders in Louisiana. For example, in a half mile radius  of the playground across from City Park, there are six sex offenders and one mile out, it jumps to 41 with the charges ranging from forcible rape to aggravated incest.

With more children outside for longer, Capt. Cain says it's even more reason for parents to be on alert.

"I'm always trying to watch out to see who's out there. Who potentially shouldn't be here," said Father of Two Benjamin Forkner.

Forker has two daughters, a three year old and an 11 month old. "I always keep an eye on her because she runs a lot so I make sure she's always within eye sight and she never leaves my arms," said Forkner.

That's something Dornier says she feels more parents need to do -- put their phones, Ipads or even books down and pay close attention to every move their children make, and more importantly, keep a vigilant eye on those who do not belong near children."If something doesn't feel right, it may not be right. If you're suspicious, at least call it into the police department. It may be a piece of information. It may be nothing, but we prefer to air on the safe side," said Capt. Cain. Click here for the sex offender registry, http://www.lsp.org/socpr/default.html

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