Slaton is making it more difficult for sex offenders to move into its neighborhoods. Tuesday, council members approved increased restrictions on where a registered sex offender can live. City leaders say this adds to state laws already in place.
State laws say that a registered sex offender cannot live around schools, daycares, and parks. Slaton's ordinance goes even further, stating a sex offender cannot live in a 1,000 foot radius around any area specifically designed for a child. That includes pools, playgrounds, even youth centers.
"A lot of people don't know that there are sex offenders here," said Slaton resident Phyllis Miller. There are though, more than a dozen, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. "It does scare me, because you don't know who you're kids are around anymore," said Casey English who works in Slaton. Now, Slaton city leaders are stepping up residency restrictions. "We just think it will be an extra buffer to protect our youth," said Slaton City Councilwoman Laura Lynn Wilson.
The ordinance takes affect immediately. Sex offenders already living in the newly restricted areas do not have to move, but if they change residency later, they must follow the city's new rules. Wilson says it will be up to local police to enforce change. "This is something that they would be checking on anyway, but they will just have a different set of guidelines," said Wilson.
Residents say success hinges on action. "It could be passed, and it will look good on the books, but if the police department doesn't enforce it, it's not going to do any good to pass anything," said Miller. Parents say the restriction is only part of the solution. "You have to educate your children on it, so they know everybody out there is not just nice and can be trusted," English said.
Minors, and sex offenders who were minors at the time of the offense, and never convicted as an adult, are not subject to this ordinance. To check for registered sex offenders living in your hometown, click the link below.
|get more- Web Enhanced|
Lubbock PD Registered Sex Offenders