Sex offender ordinance to go before city leaders
June 14, 2007
Sex offenders beware: South Lake Tahoe officers may want a crack at you if you’re congregating near children with bad intentions.
The city police and legal departments intend to present a sex offender ordinance Tuesday to the South Lake Tahoe City Council that allows officers to enforce the law defining restrictive boundaries for violators.
Registered sex offenders are prohibited from being “within 300 feet of any public or private schools for children, centers or facilities that provide day care or children services, video arcades, public and private playgrounds and play facilities, parks, youth sports facilities, skateparks, public swimming pools and bus stops,” the proposed ordinance reads.
Violators guilty of the misdemeanor may face a punishment of up to $1,000 or one year in prison or both.
“We’d like our officers to be able to take action to complement what’s passed (at the state level),” city police Lt. Marty Hale said Thursday.
Hale was referring to Proposition 83, the so-called Jessica’s Law initiative passed by voters last November, prohibiting offenders of living within 2,000 feet of a park or school. Hale said local police units have limited jurisdiction to arrest violators aside from parole officers. And, the state law named after a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, assaulted and buried alive by a convicted sex offender is being legally challenged in Southern California.
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When the City Council initially discussed its own ordinance last August, the local government explored the idea of the same 2,000-foot limitation, but a map drawn up for the ordinance prohibited offenders from living in most of the town.
Thirty-eight registered sex offenders live within the city limits. They’re required to register with the city as terms and conditions of residency.
Nick Loader, a South Lake Tahoe father of two girls, would like more distance between sex offenders and Sam, 11, and Heather, 6.
“Sexual predators commit the highest- repeating crime,” he said, a claim backed up by local law enforcement. He sat in his truck in front of the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center and calculated the distance the city is proposing.
“Three hundred feet is lurking,” he said.
South Lake Tahoe City Council
9 a.m., Tuesday
Lake Tahoe Airport
1901 Airport Road