California for more than 50 years has required dangerous sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies. However, information on the whereabouts of these sex offenders was not available to the public until the implementation of the Child Molester Identification Line in July 1995. The information available was further expanded by California's Megan's Law in 1996 (Chapter 908, Stats. of 1996).
Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kanka's sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area.
Now, California's Megan's Law arms the public with certain information on the whereabouts of dangerous sex offenders so that local communities may protect themselves and their children. The law also authorizes local law enforcement to notify the public about high-risk and serious sex offenders who reside in, are employed in, or frequent the community.
The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against the offender. It recognizes that public safety is best served when registered sex offenders are not concealing their location to avoid harassment.
For more information about Megan's Law visit:
Project Child Safe
Child Safe is the program we use to give away free gun locks to people in the community.
Through the Child Safe program free gun locks can be obtained from the Sheriff's Office or the Magalia or Chico Substations.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
Certain behaviors signal that you should be cautious in allowing an individual access to your children. Child molesters have well-developed techniques for luring victims. Generally, they are skilled at identifying vulnerable victims; are able to identify better with children than adults, and can manipulate children; have methods for gaining access to children; participate in activities with children, often excluding other adults; seduce children with attention, affection and gifts; have hobbies and interests appealing to children; and may show explicit videos or pictures to children.
Teach your children to avoid situations that put them in danger or abuse, molestation or abduction. Help protect your child by establishing a home environment where your child feels safe to tell you anything-without fear or shame, ridicule or punishment.
Teach your child that no one-not even a teacher or close relative has a right to touch him or her in a way that feels uncomfortable, ant hat it's okay to say no, get away and tell a trusted adult.
Don't force kids to kiss or hug or sit on a grown up's lap if they don't want to. This gives them control and teaches them they have the right to refuse.
Always know where you child is and who he or she is with.
Tell your child to stay away from strangers who hang around playgrounds, public restrooms and schools.
Be alert for changes in your child's behavior that could signal sexual abuse such as sudden secretiveness, withdrawal from activities, refusal to go tot school, unexplained hostility toward a favorite babysitter or relative, or increased anxiety. Some physical signs of abuse include bedwetting, loss of appetite, venereal disease, nightmares, and complaints of pain or irritation around the genitals.
If your child has been sexually abused, report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately. Don't blame him or her-listen and offer sympathy.
The following are just a few suggestions on how to keep your children safe.
- Tell your children never to accept rides or gifts from someone they don't know or don't know well.
- Teach your children to go to a store clerk, security guard or police officer for help if lost in a mall or store or on the street.
- Encourage your children to walk and play with friends and to avoid places that could be dangerous.
- Make sure children know their address and phone number by heart and the location of their house.
- Teach your children that if they are being followed to keep walking to a public place like a library or store. Talk to an adult at that place.
- Be certain your children know that no adult should ask them to keep a special secret and to tell you right away if someone does.
- Teach your children that no one should touch the parts of their body covered by a bathing suit.
- Be sure your children know how to call 9-1-1 from any phone in case of an emergency.
The Butte County Sheriff's Office S.T.A.R.S. Volunteers offer free home security checks to persons who are on vacation or away from their property. The patrol units make daily exterior inspections of the homes to be sure things are okay. In the event a problem is encountered, it is radioed to the Dispatch Center and the appropriate solution is put into action. While this is certainly a free service, S.T.A.RS. welcome any donations. Call the S.T.A.R.S. office closest to you to arrange a vacation check.
AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM
No one wants to become a victim. Oftentimes becoming a victim can be avoided if a few simple precautions are taken. Listed are a few suggestions to create a safer space for yourself, your family, and your possessions.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / CHILD ABUSE / ELDER ABUSE
- Everyone has the right to be free from abuse and neglect
- If someone you know is being victimized, it is important for you to take action to stop it. Without intervention abuse almost always escalates. Oftentimes victims are reluctant or unable to report abuse.
- Keep in mind your concern and involvement is critical. You may save a life.
- Store your handgun unloaded and uncocked in a securely locked container.
- Store your handgun and its ammunition in separate locations.
- Do not store your handgun among your valuables, such as jewelry or silver.
- Do not store your handgun in a bedside table or under your mattress or pillow.
- Child-proof your revolver by placing a child safety lock on the trigger or on the firing mechanisms of the weapon.
- Child-proof your semi-automatic handgun by removing the magazine, disassembling the frame from the slide and magazine or securing it with a child safety lock.
- Never leave the keys to access your firearm, child safety or trigger locks, your lock boxes, or ammunition storage containers lying our or accessible to others. Make sure these keys are not able to be copied.
- Always check thoroughly, prior to cleaning or handling your handgun, to make sure it is unloaded. This includes visually inspecting the firing chamber from the rear of the weapon for a round that may be left in the chamber.
- Clean your handgun alone, with the barrel pointed away from you. You should always clean your handgun in a safe place-that is, in an area where there is no chance of injury due to a round being discharged unintentionally.
- Be sure to choose a locking device that is sturdy and able to resist tampering.
- Identity theft is the taking of a victim's identity to obtain credit, steal money from a victim's existing accounts, apply for loans, establish accounts, obtain jobs, and countless other possibilities where a social security number, a birth date, address, and phone number are needed.
- Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
- Shred all documents including medical statements, pre-approved credit applications, and any other financial information.
- Do not use your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number or any similar series of numbers as a password for anything.
- Minimize the identification information and the number of cards you carry.
- Do not carry your social security card, birth certificate, or passport unless necessary.
- Do not put your social security number on your checks or credit receipts. If a business requests your social security number, give them an alternate number and explain why. If a government agency request your social security number, there must be a privacy notice accompanying the request.
- When using ATMs and phone cards, be alert for people attempting to look over your shoulder to obtain your PIN numbers.
- Keep a list of your credit card account numbers and bank account numbers with customer services phone numbers. Keep this list in a safe place.
- Do not put your credit card number on the Internet unless it is encrypted on a secured site.
- Pay attention to billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if bills don't arrive on time.
- Cancel any credit cards that have not been used in the last six months.
- Order your credit reports at least once a year. Correct all mistakes on your credit report in writing. Send the letters "return receipt requested". Identify the problems item by item and send with a copy of the credit report back to the reporting agency. You should hear from the agency within 30 days.
- Secure all doors, windows, skylights, especially entrances in secluded areas.
- Don't allow landscaping to create hiding places-trim up bushes.
- Don't allow landscaping to block your view from your windows-trim down bushes.
- Utilize lights during darkness.
- Install address numbers that are at least 4" tall and of a contrasting color.
- While you are away ask a neighbor about watching your property. Remember to stop your newspapers and have someone pick up your mail.
- Watch out for suspicious people. Immediately contact law enforcement about suspicious activities.
- Get involved in a Neighborhood Watch Program.
- Engrave your driver's license or identity number onto your property. Do NOT engrave your social security number.
- Lock your vehicle, the trunk or tailgate whenever you are away from your vehicle.
- Lock all valuables in the trunk or take them with you. This includes cellular phones, cameras, gift wrapped packages, wallets, etc.
- Never attach a tag with your name and address to your key ring.
- Use anti-theft devices. Check the manufacturer's list of anti-theft options.
- Park in well lit areas.
- Be alert of your surroundings and of people approaching your vehicle.
MCGRUFF THE CRIME DOG, HIS NEPHEW SCRUFF
BARNEY THE TALKING CAR
BARNEY THE TALKING SHERIFF'S CAR, MC GRUFF THE CRIME PREVENTION DOG, HIS NEPHEW, SCRUFF, AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE S.T.A.R.S. WILL COME TO YOUR SCHOOL, CHURCH, YOUTH ACTIVITY CENTER, ETC. AND TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT CRIME PREVENTION AND HOW TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM STRANGERS.
BARNEY THE TALKING CAR
BARNEY FLASHES HIS OVERHEAD LIGHTS, SOUNDS HIS SIREN, AND CRIES AS HE TALKS TO THE CHILDREN ABOUT:
- THE DANGERS OF TALKING TO STRANGERS
BARNEY ASSURES EACH CHILD A DEPUTY IS THEIR FRIEND WHO WILL HELP AND PROTECT THEM.