The Lubbock City Council is considering an ordinance prohibiting certain registered sex offenders from establishing a residence within 1,000 feet of a school, registered day care center, public park or recreation facility.
Currently, registered sex offenders not on probation or parole may reside anywhere. The proposed ordinance creates "child safety zones" around places children commonly gather.
"Our goal is to safeguard and protect minors from individuals who may have a propensity to become repeat sexual offenders," said Mayor David A. Miller.
Currently, there are 276 registered sex offenders in Lubbock, including 244 convicted of sexual offenses involving a minor. The new ordinance would not affect registered sex offenders already living inside the city. However, those wishing to move or relocate to Lubbock would be subject to the restrictions.
"This gives us another tool to help protect members of the Lubbock community who can least protect themselves," said Police Chief Dale Holton.
The proposed ordinance was developed at the encouragement of local residents Trey and Sandra Coale. After learning that state law does not prevent a registered sex offender from living near a school or recreation facility, Ms. Coale contacted City Council members requesting the adoption of a local ordinance.
"We appreciate the Coale's for bringing this issue to the forefront," said Mayor Miller.
Source: City of Lubbock
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