Lubbock City Council Considers New Sex Offender Ordinance - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/14/08

Lubbock City Council Considers New Sex Offender Ordinance

There could soon be more distance between your children and convicted sex offenders.

NewsChannel 11 has learned the Lubbock City Council is considering an ordinance that would require registered sex offenders to live at least 1,000 feet away from places where children gather. That includes schools, parks and registered daycares. We are told right now, sex offenders who are not on probation or parole can live nearly anywhere in the city.

NewsChannel 11 went to Slaton were a similar ordinance was adopted. 

Slaton currently has 24 registered sex offenders. City leaders there wanted to ensure they did not live close to where their children play. Therefore, in June 2006, the city council adopted an ordinance to do that.

"1,000 feet from where children typical gather, including schools, parks churches, youth organizations," Slaton Mayor Laura Lynn Wilson said.

Mayor Wilson says they have had no problems since passing the ordinance. However, it has made it difficult for some families of sex offenders.

"It does inconvenience some sex offenders and their families which we regret, but we did it to protect our kids," Wilson added.

Margaret Conner, Assistant Superintendent of Slaton ISD supports the ordinance. She said, "Safety is our first priority and if we can keep one child safe then it's a good thing."

Slaton police enforce the ordinance. We are told about once a month officers check in on registered sex offenders to make sure they are not living within 1,000 feet of places like Cathelene Thomas Elementary School.

"We haven't had a big problem with new ones moving in. Most of the ones that are grandfathered in are the ones that are staying," Slaton Police Lt. Rick Lewis said.

"I think it's a totally positive ordinance for any city," Mayor Wilson added.

 Efforts of safety for little ones, and now the City of Lubbock could soon follow.

Lubbock has nearly 280 registered sex offenders. City Council Member Todd Klein tells NewsChannel 11 the council is working to move forward with the ordinance. He expects it be on the council agenda in the near future.

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