By Susan Parkou Weinstein
Police Chief Ronald Sellon has submitted a Town Meeting article that would restrict where the more serious sex offenders could live in Mansfield.
- We are willing to bet he will be running for congress or similar office soon.
Sellon said the sex offender registration and residential safety zone would bar Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within a 1,000-foot buffer of places such as schools, daycare centers and playgrounds and better protect children, developmentally disabled adults and other vulnerable members of the local population.
"This is an effort to further safeguard people in the community," he told selectmen Wednesday night.
There are three Level 3 and 25 Level 2 sex offenders living or working in town who have registered with police as required by law. They must register every year and the information is public. But there are no restrictions barring them from living close to a school and similar locations unless there is a provision in their probation or parole, Sellon said.
Police have been checking the compliance status of the local registered Level 2 and 3 offenders and found one Level 2 not in compliance this week. That number may change in the coming weeks, Sellon said.
According to the state sex offender registry board, Level 1 sex offenders are the least likely to reoffend and do not pose enough danger to be named publicly.
Level 2 and Level 3 offenders are considered at moderate risk and high risk to reoffend, respectively.
A dozen cities and towns in the state have adopted the stricter laws.
Sellon said he was also looking into joining a regional team to locate sex offenders and take more aggressive steps to document their whereabouts.
Selectmen said they would support the article.
"This sounds like a great idea to me," Selectman Doug Annino said.