In an effort to attract more tourists, the D.C. police department has adopted a strategy similar to that of selling "celebrity house maps" in Hollywood: Its website now allows tourists to view maps of the exact locations of registered sex offenders, whose information is also listed. Now all tourist families can print out their sightseeing maps before starting their vacations. Then they can really hit the ground running!
Well, maybe that's not what the D.C. police department had in mind. But they did create this "mapping function." That's just a fact. Apparently many parents would not prefer to live near registered sex offenders, although it's unclear why:
The main purpose of the new function is to allow residents to enter their home addresses, or the addresses of their children's schools, and easily find out if any offenders reside or are employed nearby, said Sgt. Robert Panizari, who oversees the registry. [...]
The 800-plus offenders are listed alphabetically, with each name accompanied by a photo and the home and work locations (by street and block, not specific address). The registry does not include details of the crimes they were convicted of committing.
Hmm, still sounds like weak sauce then, if you don't know the crime. There's a difference between someone who got a little "touchy" one day, and someone who... well, let your imagination run wild.
But the police still consider this a welcome "enhancement" to the previous registry function, which didn't allow people to "map the distance between their homes or their children's' schools and the locations of the offenders." Now it can.
Feeling safer already?
Jim Newell writes for Wonkette and IvyGate.