SEX OFFENDER SAGA FLASHBACK: Problems with sex offender ordinance AFTER the ordinance was approved
Time: 1:43 PM
In advance of the next ad-hoc committee meeting regarding revisions to the the sex offender ordinance, here's a copy of a draft of the revised ordinance (pdf file).
Here are some points I found from the ordinance that are alarming. NOTE: The additions to the ordinance being considered are highlighted in bold:
1. Note that the city had to insert the term "school" in definition of a Child Safety Zone, section 2(a)(i). The addition of the word "school" begs the question...how can the council forget to define a "school" as a child safety zone within the ordinance? Does this mean that all the schools in Danbury do not have a "child safety zone" sign?
2. A listing of all the child safety zones are going to be listed in the ordinance. Make sense right? Everyone doesn't know what makes a child safety zone so it SHOULD be outlined in the ordinance. There's just one problem, this was proposed by the Democrats during the ad-hoc committee for the ORIGINAL draft of the ordinance BEFORE the vote in December 2006. This recommendation, brought by Councilman Ben Chianese, was requested by the Republicans on the committee and was never adopted into the ordinance.
3. The zone hopping problem is finally fixed but this begs the question, if the zone hopping nonsense wasn't caught by Minority Leader Tom Saadi, then it's quite possible the other problems within the ordinance would have gone unnoticed until someone attempted to enforce the ordinance. For example, a sex offender was caught on the parking lot of a school and is warned that he's violated the ordinance. The offender challenges the warning in court and it's found that the ordinance doesn't state that the parking lot of a school is part of the child safety zone (not second to last portion of the drafted ordinance in the above graphic.
Food for thought...
UPDATE: Since the posting of this piece, Corporation Council is on record in stating that schools are child safety zones by default because each school has a park (which are called playgrounds).
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