By Shumuriel Ratliff
LINCOLN COUNTY (WAFF) - Residents in Lincoln County TN have some concerns about sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. They were able to speak to law enforcement Thursday night in a town hall meeting about stricter laws.
At least 30 people attended the town hall meeting at the Bellview Community Center. People who attended the meeting said they want the laws tightened so they can have better knowledge when a sex offender is living in their neighborhood.
Officials with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and State Representative Billy Spivey were also in attendance. Residents said the biggest issue for them is not knowing when a sex offender is living near them. Some of them don't have computers so they can't look at the online sex offender registry as it's updated, and the area is so rural, they may not be aware.
Deputies said there are 63 sex offenders in the county as of 2 weeks ago. Residents like April Webb said they want the laws changed so that they and their children can feel safer.
"I want to know and I think that I have the right to know and those laws are tricky right now and I want to see those changed so that we as mothers and fathers and grandparents we know what are around our children," she said.
Spivey said this is a perfect example of how the voice of the people is still what drives government.
"This is an idea originated out of the community that very well could become law this year."
Spivey said they will take the community's ideas and concerns and have it drafted into a form that helps address the issues the residents are having.