Lubbock City Leaders Want More Restrictions On Sex Offenders - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/18/08

Lubbock City Leaders Want More Restrictions On Sex Offenders

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NewsChannel 11 first told you last week, the city council is considering a new sex offenders ordinance.  On Tuesday, we learned it would only apply to those convicted of a crime against a minor.

Andrew Etchamendy is a proud dad of a five-month-old baby girl. He also lives a block and a half from AB Davis Park and registered sex offender James Ramirez, who was convicted of attempted indecency with a 13-year-old girl.

"I had no idea he was living down the street. That was actually kind of frightening and scary," Etchamendy said.

Etchamedy says he supports the city council efforts to create child safety zone under a new sex offender ordinance.

"These child safety zones will be very similar to our drug free zones that have been in place for years. The same 1,000 foot radius, in essence the same definition of the places that will be protected by this ordinance," Mayor David Miller said.

Those include schools, parks, recreational facilities, boys and girls clubs and registered daycares. Mayor Miller says registered child sex offenders already living near those places would not have to move. However if passed, others who want to move into the city or relocate would be subject to the new restrictions.

"We are serious about protecting these children and if you have been convicted of this heinous crime you are going to be limited in where you can live in this town," Miller said.

Right now registered sex offenders not on probation or parole can live nearly anywhere in the city. However, if passed, Lubbock Police Chief Dale Holton says their Sex Offender Compliance Unit will enforce the ordinance.

"It will give us a little more control and it's another tool we can use," Holton explained.

"It makes me feel safer, if that ordinance passes. There's a house across the street for sale and no sex offender would be able to move in across the street from my daughter," Etchamendy said.

Currently, there are 244 registered sex offenders convicted of a crime against a minor. 

NewsChannel 11 called all city council members to see if they support this ordinance. We heard support from all accept Phyllis Jones, who did not return our call. However, council members Floyd Price and Linda DeLeon say before voting the council needs to take a closer look at the ordinance.

The city council is expected to consider the ordinance at next week's meeting.

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