Friday, July 29, 2005

Updates To and Limitations Of Mora's Sex Offender Map

I recently promoted John Mora's TBI Sex Offender Registry Google Map. John has since then adapted the map to allow the searcher to identify the location of offenders by zip code, which is cooler than the other side of the pillow, but in using it to search the 37208 zip, I found that the map did not locate 2 sex offenders who live on the 1400 block of 4th Ave., North in Germantown. Enclave reported the presence of those offenders in June.

While John says that some of the information on the offenders is either missing or unusable, the information on the two offenders in Germantown seems to be neither as far as I can tell. John cites an example of misinformation in a link to a Memphis news channel that mentions one west Tennessee offender who could not be found because his information was updated on the TBI database the day before Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation requiring sex offenders to register (passed on August 1, 2004).

However, both Germantown offenders registered and had their information updated by TBI after August 1, 2004. Strangely enough, a registered child rapist appears on Mora's map on the 2200 block of 14th Ave., North, but his information was updated July 31, 2004 (day before legislation) and his registration information is unavailable. It doesn't make sense that he would appear on John's map in light of his missing and unusable information, but the two Germantown offenders with updated information would not.

I'll reiterate that John's map is helpful for seeing how sex offenders are inordinately clustered in urban areas and it does locate many of those who live near the North End. However, residents should also keep tabs on the TBI registry to see all of the registered sex offenders in the TBI's database.

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