Sex offenders mapped for counties in Cross Timbers

Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 23, 2012

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Thanks to the work of a Tarleton State University student, people in the Cross Timbers region have a new tool to keep tabs on sex offenders in their neighborhoods.


Jenny Cline, a senior communication studies student, spent months sifting through data and learning to use an Internet mapping tool. She produced searchable and interactive maps of registered sex offenders in the eight counties of the Cross Timbers region, which include Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto and Somervell. The maps show more than 400 registered sex offenders.

“I think often the key to protecting one's self and family from sexual predators is simply being aware and making smart choices. I hope this project will inform people and make them aware of potential risk, possibly preventing someone from victimization,” Cline said. “It is important to include a visual aid, a resource people can see and relate to, to make it real.”


The maps are online at www.texannews.net under the sex offender maps tab. The residences of sex offenders are designated with a red balloon, day care centers with a green one, schools with yellow.

Clicking on a balloon pops up information about an offender, center or school. The maps make it easy to see where offenders live in relation to schools, day care centers or individual residences.

“This is an important piece of work and shows how students working with new technology can make a difference in the real world and demonstrate important skills,” said Dr. Charles Howard, head of the communication studies department.


The maps are available free to reporters and news outlets covering the Cross Timbers. Embedded codes, which make it possible to repost the maps on other websites, are available by contacting the Texan News Service at texannews@tarleton.edu or calling 254-968-9385.

“Jenny’s hard work yielded great public service journalism—giving people information about offenders in their neighborhoods, and making the information easy to examine with an interactive map," said Dan Malone, an assistant professor at Tarleton State. "And Jenny is an inspirational example of how one determined student can make a difference.”

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Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Dan Malone
dmalone@tarleton.edu
254-968-9385

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Sex offenders mapped for counties in Cross Timbers - Media Relations - Tarleton State University