In this week’s issue of Navarre Press, you will find a spread with photos, names and addresses of sexual offenders and predators registered in Navarre and Gulf Breeze. We have published this every year, and a majority of our readers let us know they appreciate us printing the information. A couple of people have told us that they pull the pages out of the paper and keep it for reference.
But we also have readers who have gotten mad at us for placing this information in our paper. In most cases they either have a friend or family member who is on the list, and of course they believe that they don’t belong there for whatever reason. We can empathize with that. If it were our son, daughter or friend, we wouldn’t want to be reminded of their sexual offender status or have the rest of the community know about it. But you can be assured that if it was our son, daughter or friend, their photo would be there in alphabetical order, along with everyone else labeled as a sex offender or predator.
We do this as a service to the community. We are not the judge nor are we the jury that convicted them. We don’t do it to shame or embarrass those on the list. We cannot separate the really, really bad guys from the ones who may have just been caught by a girlfriend’s father who needs to make the boyfriend pay in the worst way. The fact is, in every case they have been convicted.
Furthermore, for public safety reasons these sexual offenders and predators are required by law to register their addresses to allow the public to know where they are located in their community. The registration also provides information to local law enforcement as well as the means of public notification through websites in all states. It’s a matter of public record and more importantly, public safety.