Reporting Beth Germano
ATTLEBORO (CBS) – Recreation areas, the city library, schools and playgrounds, there are fewer and fewer places the Attleboro city council wants to allow registered sex offenders.
A new ordinance passed by the council would ban level 2 and level 3 sex offenders who’ve committed crimes against children from any city owned property or building.
They could be asked to leave by city officials and police, and face potential arrest or fines. It was an emotional and personal debate for the council as the city takes a stand against sex offenders amid concern for their civil rights.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports
“If we as a body pass only ordinances that are perfect we will never pass anything,” said councilor Duff White who admitted publicly that his brother, who committed suicide, was the victim of a sexual predator.
For parent Melissa Busillo it’s all about safety. “I’ve seen it on the news many times, someone is allowed around children and they’ve gotten into trouble,” she said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens reports.
The ordinance has been in the making for a year and the fact that a recent court ruling allows offenders to appeal to police if they believe they are not a threat, helped the overwhelming vote to pass the ordinance.
Parent Elizabeth Halnon believes it’s not too far reaching. “I don’t think they should be out in the first place. They should be somewhere getting intensive therapy and not be out in public,” she said.
The ordinance makes it one of the broadest in the state and creates a growing zone called a “child safety zone”.