BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Social media is another tool that can be used to locate people within a certain neighborhood, such as sex offenders.
Issues arise when sex offenders move into a neighborhood and fail to register with police.
If they don't register, police have no way of alerting the community of who is living next door.
There are more than 11,000 sex offenders in the Alabama Bureau of Investigation's registry.
CBS42 talked with Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper on Tuesday about their search for two registered sex offenders in the Birmingham area.
Debra Brown and Cornelius Billingsly, who police say has two prior warrants for failing to notify police where he is living, are wanted by police.
"It's important for the public to work with us so we can really keep a good track of our sex offenders where they are living at," Chief Roper said. "The rules clearly state that they cannot live within 2000 feet of a day care or school."
Sex offenders can be found all across the area.
In the day and age of social media, it's easy to find sex offenders in particular areas. The Birmingham Police Department's website, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office's website, have databases for finding offenders in certain areas. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation has one as well.
Just in the area around CBS42 alone, within a five mile radius, the ABI database found 196 known sex offenders.
"Our major concern are those sex offenders who live outside of Birmingham who show up in our city and we have no idea are here," Chief Roper added.
If police don't know about the sex offenders living in a certain area, they cannot inform the public.
It's important to remember, though, that these databases rely solely on the offender to keep the information up to date.
That can be a clear loophole for offenders who fail to register. If they do, a warrant can be issued for their arrest.
Anyone with information to report offenders should call their local police or sheriff's office.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42
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