Tracking sex offenders to keep your family safe

REPUBLIC, Mo. A man in Republic is worried that a known sex offender is too close to his family for comfort.

Police say there's nothing they can do.

Darrell Henry says he was surprised to find out that a registered sex offender was living near his house after his kids told him.

Now he wants others to be aware of the various ways they can protect their families.

"It's brought our neighborhood closer, for sure, together. But we are definitely on the edge of our seats with it," says Henry.

He, like many other parents living in his neighborhood are concerned for their children's safety.

"Summertime's coming up. We've got basketball goals, a nice neighborhood otherwise. Our kids shouldn't have to worry about people stalking on them and praying on them," he says.

Henry says his kids pointed out the sex offender to him as the man passed by their house.

"It was definitely a concern to me," he explains.

Though the man hasn't broken any laws, Henry says he lives in fear.

"Something causing a child harm with something as simple as bringing them close with some sunglasses and then taking off with them, like the little girl in Branson or something similar like that. I just can't deal with something like that," he says.

Henry took to Facebook to alert his neighbors about the sex offender as a way to keep them informed.

"Neighbors may not want that person in their neighborhood but they have the right to live there. If they're not doing anything wrong there's not a whole lot that we can do," says Lieutenant Tim Wheeler with the Republic Police Department.

Police say the best way to protect your family is to arm yourself with information.

That's exactly what Henry did.

"My biggest fear is me not ever being aware of that, you know, or other parents being aware of this activity," he says.

Henry keeps tabs on any threats using various phone apps and websites like Family Watchdog. There you can stay up to date on sex offenders moving to your neighborhood and get alerts for other dangers.

Henry also makes sure to always keep an eye on his kids.

"My advice is to spend time with your children outside and be aware of your surroundings and teach them to be aware of their surroundings," he says.

Police say if you have any doubts give them a call right away.