They are just following in Sheriff Gordon Smith's footsteps and also Nazi Germany. This does nothing except place a bulls-eye on the offender and their family's heads. It's only a matter of time before someone with one of these signs is murdered, and will the Sheriff's department be held accountable for putting someones life in danger? We doubt it, Florida is corrupt and has a ton of sexual predator cops themselves! Send these folks an email letting them know what you think of this idea by clicking here.
By Lacey McLaughlin
PORT ORANGE - By placing signs in front of sexual predators’ homes, a City Council member hopes to tell sex offenders they aren't welcome in Port Orange.
Vice Mayor Don Burnette said he is proposing a policy that would require red public notice signs be placed on city-owned right of way in front of the residences of sexual predators. The predator’s name would be included on the sign.
“We are not going to roll out the welcome mat for sex offenders,” Burnette said.
The signs would not apply to all sex offenders living in the city, only sexual predators. Of the 64 sexual offenders living in the city, four are sexual predators who have been convicted of a first-degree felony sex crime or two second-degree felony sex crimes.
“Not all offenders are created equally and it’s hard to distinguish who has done what,” Burnette said. “But sexual predators are more serious offenders.”
It’s unclear how the proposed policy will play out. Burnette plans to bring it up for discussion at the council’s meeting Tuesday.
Councilman Bob Ford said the signs may have unintended consequences.
“That is a heavy step that we’d have to think about very seriously,” Ford said. “How would you sell your house if you live on the same street as a predator? That would not do well for property values.”
The push for tighter restrictions for sex offenders comes after a neighbor’s discovery last week that _____, 46, was living across the street from Sugar Mill Elementary. _____, who was convicted of distributing child pornography by a New York court in 2004 and is not registered as a sexual predator, can live that close to the school because his conviction occurred before a state law creating stronger residency restrictions for sex offenders.
In response to the public outcry, council members unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that now requires all sex offenders moving into the city to live at least 2,500 feet from childcare facilities, schools, parks and playgrounds — 1,500 feet farther than state law requires.
Port Orange resident Margie Patchett brought the proposed policy to the attention of Burnette because she fears for the safety of her grandchild, who attends Sugar Mill. Patchett acknowledged the signs could turn offenders into targets for harassment but said it’s more important to protect children.
“I am more concerned about our children being a target as opposed to the sexual predators being a target if signs are placed in their front yards,” she said.
The North Florida city of Perry adopted a similar policy last year and placed a sign in front of the home of the only sexual predator living there, _____, who was convicted of sexual battery in 2009. Shortly after the city placed a sign near his home,_____ moved to Clearwater.
“These predators are already listed on public websites with their addresses,” Perry City Manager Bob Brown said. “It’s similar to that. We just wanted to make sure that people who are coming by know that a sexual predator lives there.”
- That isn't right either, and people have been murdered (Video) due to the online hit-list!
Jennifer Klein, a criminal justice instructor and researcher at the University of Florida, said several cities and counties in Florida are taking similar approaches to sexual predators. She said that recidivism rates for sex offenders are relatively low. A 2003 study by the U.S. Department of Justice reported that 5.3 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for another sex crime three years after being release from state prison.
“There are more offenders than sexual predators in most states,” Klein said. “When you place something like this in front of their house and mark them as an outsider, it’s going to be more difficult to re-enter society and find jobs.”