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      Facebook helps you search for sex offenders

      Searching for sex offenders in your neighborhood is a little easier now thanks to a popular social media website.

      A new Facebook application recently launched by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) will allow users to quickly search for sex offenders within their area.

      You can search for Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders by last name, county or zip code. After you select an offender, you'll be able to see their picture, location and criminal history. Level 2 sex offenders are considered medium risk. Level 3 sex offenders are considered high risk offenders with the highest likelihood of repeating their crimes.

      Facebook users also can share the application to their own pages and encourage their friends to do the same.

      State Senator John DeFrancisco (R, 50th District) hopes parents use the tool to keep children in our community safe.

      There are currently 32,994 registered sex offenders on the state's Sex Offender Registry: 12,473 Level 1 offenders; 11,685 Level 2 offenders; 8,163 Level 3 offenders; and 673 offenders whose risk level is pending. Click here to see county-by-county statistics.

      You can also search for sex offenders on the New York State Department of Criminal Justice website.

      You can also sign up to receive free alerts via email, text message or fax whenever a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender moves into or out of a community or location of interest to you.

      This is today's Facebook Story of the Day. To help pick the story, click here.