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Be aware of sex offenders in your community

Screenshot of map with local sex offenders pinned. Photo courtesy of California Meghan’s Law Website

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

We live in a world that can be shameless. San Luis Obispo, Calif., is supposedly the happiest place on earth, but that doesn’t exclude us from having sex offenders.

According to California Meghan’s Law Website, there are 105 sex offenders in the City of San Luis Obispo, with 75 having a recorded address, 40 of them being transients (homeless), and one of them currently being in violation.

The community needs to be aware of these potential dangers.

College students also need to make sure they are informed. If you’re just moving here for school, this is great information to have in a new area so you can avoid a dangerous address or interaction. 

Fortunately, Meghan’s Law also provides images of each registered offender. This could be very useful in the event someone happens to be walking home from a bar or party while intoxicated, and they notice a suspicious person. 

It is also a common misconception that in California sex offenders are prohibited from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. This was actually ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. The court discovered this law was inadvertently creating a transient population of sex offenders limiting their access to medical aid, counseling and other rehabilitation services.

Transients however, should not be profiled since anyone in the community could potentially be a sex offender. This is also why it is important to protect yourself at parties, or even in a bar. 

“It’s a shame nowadays that people need to be vigilant whenever they go out,” said Jonathan Levin, a student at Cal Poly.  “Think about cup condoms. It’s ridiculous. People should be better.”

A cup condom is something you put on top of your drink to help prevent the possibility of being drugged. Other strategies for ensuring your safety are not accepting drinks from strangers, not leaving your drink unattended, and just keeping your eyes open.

If you would like to report a suspicious person, contact your local law enforcement agency.