While San Ramon and Danville both enjoy reputations of being squeaky clean, there are currently 16 registered sex offenders –- along with another in Alamo –- living in the area.
That's not counting a list of others either serving time or awaiting trial. Among them: a former sheriff's deputy accused of molesting three children, an ex-Cub Scout leader serving time for child pornography, a former substitute teacher arrested on drug and child pornography charges, and two recent graduates of San Ramon Valley High School arrested or serving time for sex-related charges.
Of the 11 men in San Ramon currently on the sex offender registry, one man convicted of a sex crime involving a child lives near Village Green Park. Two others, also convicted of sex crimes against children live near Athens Downs Park, while a third -- also convicted of a sex crime involving a child -- lives not far from Twin Creeks Elementary School.
San Ramon also has three men who don't have to disclose their addresses to the state because of the nature of their crimes, and one transient, whose address is unavailable.
Four Danville residents are on the registry, known as the Megan's Law database. Of them, only two have to disclose their addresses because of their convictions; neither of them lives near a park or school, as is the case with the single Alamo resident on the database.
While studies show that sex offenders in general and pedophiles in particular have high recidivism rates, those in the area are being closely monitored, according to local police.
Contra Costa County has a detective assigned to keep tabs on the 350 or so sex offenders in the county, including those in Danville.
Those offenders are required to register with the Sheriff's Office every year around their birthdays, according to spokesman Jimmy Lee. He said random address verifications are also conducted by the Contra County Sheriff's Office.
Those who are on the state's Megan's Law database must re-register within five days of their birthdays; those who do not are likely to get a reminder from police and could ultimately wind up back in prison if they don't comply with the law.
Lee said deputies also conduct random sweeps throughout the year, usually in conjunction with other agencies.
"These sweeps throughout the county are done to confirm they are living where they say they are living, that they are meeting the conditions of their probation or parole, and to see if they are committing any new offenses," he explained.
San Ramon also conducts random checks, according to Lt. Dan Pratt.
"The SRPD (San Ramon Police Department) Investigation Division and Contra Costa County have personnel and teams that periodically go out to the homes of sex offenders to ensure they are living where they say they are and are abiding by the terms of their probation or parole," Pratt said.
The Megan's Law website is maintained by local police agencies. When a convicted offender moves away or into an area, police are notified and update their lists. The registry is named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and murdered in New Jersey in 1994.
Lee noted a section on the database that offers tips on "How To Protect Yourself and Your Family."