YAKIMA, Wash. -- KIMA is always working to make sure you stay informed especially when it comes to the safety of kids.
You might not think twice when they wait for the school bus. But, it's likely a sex offender lives right around the corner.
There are more than 600 school bus stops in the Yakima school system. KIMA spent days poring over every single one of them, comparing them to the sex offender registry to see who's living nearby.
KIMA looked at Level 2 and 3 sex offenders only, living within a half-mile radius of the bus stops.
You take your kids to school everyday hoping the biggest problem is forgetting to pack their lunch.
But some things you can't control - like where sex offenders live. It keeps Heather Kongira's eyes busy. She was shocked to hear six sex offenders live near the stop where her kids get on the bus.
"What do you think?" KIMA asked.
"That's a lot," said Heather.
It's a common misperception that there are strict restrictions limiting exactly where a sex offender can live. This is true in most cases.
"There's actually no law of where sex offenders can and can't live,” KIMA said.
"Really?" said Heather.
The only restriction on where sex offenders can live is if they have certain probation requirements. But once they're off probation, the restriction is lifted. So this allows 15 sex offenders to live within a half-mile of the bus stop where Ava Ponce's granddaughter waits each morning.
"We need to take our children to that bus stop, wait for them to get on that bus and wait for them to get off," said Ava.
KIMA began investigating this story in January. Looking through the sex offender website and sifting through more than 600 school bus stops in Yakima. The goal was to see how many sex offenders lived a stone's throw away from where your child gets on.
It's nearly a four-way tie. The stop Front and A Streets has the most sex offenders, with 17. Three stops had 16 sex offenders living nearby. Those stops are 110 North Sixth Street, Ninth and Yakima Avenues, and Third and F Streets.
These figures are helpful to people like Tammy Meek. She's a parent and also works at a daycare. It's her job to take kids to one of the bus stops where 15 sex offenders live within a half-mile. Tammy said they're already hyper-vigilant about the children's safety.
"I don't have to worry about somebody grabbing her or coming up behind her or anything like that,” said Tammy. “She's just, I know she's on the bus."
KIMA wanted to see just how concerned parents should really be. CarriAnn Ross is the Records Supervisor for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office and keeps track of sex offender registrations.
"Is it likely these sex offenders would reoffend near bus stops where kids are?" asked KIMA.
"It's probably less likely that they would reoffend in public like that,” said Ross. “Most sex offenders commit crimes against people they know."
CarriAnn said registration laws are in place so parents can be aware of where sex offenders live and what they look like.
"Make sure your kids know the dangers in the area that you're able to tell them about," said Ross.
In these cases knowledge is power to be aware of who's near your kids at all parts of their day.
"The fact there may be other people that could be dangerous in the area that they wouldn't know about," said Ross.
Click here to find a list of how many sex offenders live within a half-mile radius of your child's bus stop.
This was data KIMA recorded in January, so some of that information may have changed. And you can always search any address in the sex offender registry to know who's near your home, business, church, daycare or school.