In Tampa the thought was first to create a barrier between sex offenders and children. The thought was to create a 2500 foot barrier between sex offenders and places where children are such as schools, park, bus stops and day care centers. Children need to be protected from predators. Here’s a simple solution … ban the sex offenders.
The council also voted unanimously to direct the city’s legal department to draft an ordinance that prohibits some sexual offenders and predators from living within 2,500 feet of schools, day care centers and parks. Councilwoman Mary Alvarez insisted that school bus stops also be included, and her colleagues backed her.
That is when the city council decided to take it one step further. Ban sex offenders from the city altogether. There is one way to make sure they are now around the children, make it illegal for them to be there at all.
Other states and municipalities have enacted ordinances that further restrict where sexual offenders can live, but not without legal challenges.
City Attorney David Smith said banishing new offenders from Tampa might be an option.
“The law is unclear,” Smith said. “Most of the cases decided didn’t deal with banishment.”
Of course the minute that there be a severe measure taken against a sex offender to protect children, the usual suspects will come forward from the ACLU stating that its unconstitutional.
“This total ban would raise some serious red flags,” said Becky Steele, regional director for the American Civil Liberties Union. “This type of total ban would have the effect of totally banishing someone from the city.” (AP)