Friday, June 15, 2007

Ross Township may restrict sex offenders in the area...

Ross Township officials are considering an ordinance that would prohibit sex offenders from living 2,500 feet from a church, school, day care facility and other areas. It is still in the very early stages and a public hearing probably won't be held until late July.

Well, this certainly is an interesting ordinance that officials are crafting. As opposed members have said and I must agree -- this is something that should be handled by the state. However, legislators tend to move as quickly as molasses (S...L...O...W).

Unfortunately, other than finding ways to enforce this, municipal officials could only deem a violation of it as a summary offense (which is similar to a parking ticket).

This Tattler's other problems with it delve down to the fact that this should target sexual predators and not just one-time sexual offenders. Let's keep in mind that not all sexual offenders are child molesters but could have been pinched for a crime of passion.

I by no means approve of these criminals but this ordinance should narrow the scope to the real scumbags. The ordinance will also face several constitutional issues, which makes this Tattler think that there is a snowball's chance in hell that it will ever get approved.

From the McKnight Journal:

The legislation came on the radar after the realization that current laws are not restrictive enough. Megan's Law calls for sexual offenders to register in their neighborhoods, but does not restrict where offenders can live.

The law is used as a means to protect the public, especially children, from sexual victimization, according to Pennsylvania State Police. This is accomplished by tracking the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders and notifying the public of an offender living in their community.

According to Family Watchdog, nine sex offenders either live or work in Ross Township. Offenses range from rape to sexual assault of children.

Mt. Lebanon recently discussed a very similar ordinance.

The Trib reported on it:

There was also a previous article published here:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/southwest/s_508969.html

I'll let you Tattlers know if anything develops on this.

Working to keep you posted...

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