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WFMY -- Every day, parents entrust others with the safety of their kids. But how do you know who's trustworthy and who's not?
On Tuesday, Jerry Sandusky, a former football coach at Penn State, was sentenced for sexually abusing boys he met during his work with a non-profit.
"Parents have to be vigilant," said Forsyth County Sheriff William Schatzman. "They need to be interested and involved."
Schatzman was once a private investigator. He also worked with the FBI as a father. He said every parent has to do their due diligence to protect their children.
Schatzman said parents should ask for references before they leave their child in the care of someone else. He said they can start by asking other parents, but they should also ask for referrals from neighbors and other members of the community.
Parents should also check the National Sex Offender Registry. They can also call the Clerk of Courts office at their county courthouse to do a court record search. A court record search can cost anywhere from $5 to $15, depending on the county.
Additionally, they can do an online criminal background check on sites like 123NC.com. A criminal background check can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred or even thousand dollars depending on how much information you want to know.
However, Schatzman said the scary part is, you just never know.
"There's not an exact science. You can't press a button and say, perp, this one's good. Perp, this one's bad. It's not that way, you just can't do that," he said.
However, Ed Cobbler, a private investigator, said parents can look for some signs.
Cobbler said when an adult shows too much interest in a young person, or when they want the relationship to extend beyond the playing field or another group activity, or if they're spending too much time with a specific young person, those are red flags.
Cobbler added that if an adult wants your child to sleep over anywhere, without a group, that's most definitely a red flag.
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children has a whole list of questions that parents should be asking themselves about anyone who has access to their kids, specifically coaches. You can find that list here.
The organization also has a resource that lays out steps families, schools, and the community can take to keep kids safe from predators. You can find the link here.
WFMY News 2