New smartphone app alerts parents to nearby sex offenders - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New smartphone app alerts parents to nearby sex offenders

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

There is a new, powerful tool that is helping parents track sex offenders and do more to protect their kids. The smartphone app called Alert ID was launched Tuesday in Louisiana.

Valerie Romero and her two young boys enjoy a quiet afternoon on the playground at City Park. "They love it. We love it around here and this is one of our favorite places to just walk the lakes. [We] spend time together and they just really enjoy it," said Romero.

Romero says she keeps close watch of her children. While the recreation area is relatively safe, her mother's instinct tells her there could be dangers lurking. She is now taking an extra step to scan the area – from the palm of her hand.

Romero is using the Alert ID app. The tool uses GPS and local law enforcement websites to notify parents of registered sex offenders who live in the area. When you click on the yellow diamond, you get instant access to the offender's name, photo and rap sheet.

Alert ID founder, Keli Wilson, says while the app was initially created to help locating missing children, she quickly realized keeping parents informed about their surroundings is key in keeping children safe. The app also allows parents to post directly to the site.

"We have kids that are reported to have been followed home from school by suspicious person. Well, you can upload that information to Alert ID and post that to all the members in one mile radius," said Wilson.

Users can also sign up for notifications and get alerts sent straight to their phones.

"I would look at something like that and be more aware of my surroundings and like what's going on and who is around me," said Romero.

Romero's kids keep her on her toes. With Alert ID she doesn't have to go far to keep them safe.

You can download the app for free on any smartphone, just search Alert ID and look for the black and blue icon.

Click here to download the Android app: http://buff.ly/14gd0ES

Click here to download the iPhone and iPad app: http://buff.ly/1eN2vzx

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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