New Push to Protect Lubbock's Children - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/23/02

New Push to Protect Lubbock's Children

There is a new push to protect Lubbock's children against sex offenders. One city council-man wants to explore the possibility of putting registered sex offenders' criminal history on T.V., in an effort to make more parents aware.

Living near a convicted sex offender can be frightening. "It's uncomfortable especially when you have young babies," said Carmen Boatman, who has a 3 year-old granddaughter.

The only thing that separates Boatman's family from a registered sex offender, is a chained linked fence. That is why Boatman never lets her granddaughter, Trinity, out of sight, especially after what happened to five year-old Samantha Runnion who was kidnapped and murdered in California.

City Councilman Gary Boren says he wants to help Lubbock families protect their children. Boren says the City of Lubbock should consider listing registered sex offenders on the city's T.V. channel, cable channel 6.

"Their names, pictures, and addresses so that citizens of Lubbock can know where these people live and so we can protect our kids," said Boren.

It is the same information that is listed on the Lubbock Police Department's website, except it is on T.V., and it will reach more people, according to former Lubbock Police Officer, and City Councilman Tom Martin.

"The website is a great resource, but not everyone has access to a website or is proficient in using the internet. Everyone knows how to use the T.V., and we have a lot of programing hours on channel 6," said Martin.

Councilman Boren also raised the possibility of putting yard signs where registered sex offenders live. However, Boren said that may present some legal issues.

Whatever the plan, Carmen Boatman says she is glad about the new push to protect Lubbock's children. "You have to know what is going on in your neighborhood, you need to protect your children to keep them safe," said Boatman.

During the next few weeks, the city's legal department will research the law on sex offenders to see what is allowed and what is not. The city council will discuss the proposal again in early August.

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