Indianapolis - By a 15-11 vote the Council returned Proposal No. 184, 2006 to the Parks and Recreation Committee for additional consideration. The intent of the proposal is to limit access in parks to persons required to be listed on the Indiana State Sex Offender Registry because of a child related conviction.
Council President Monroe Gray, one of the co-sponsors of the proposal said, "Any measure that can be taken to protect children should happen. Children are innocent and often times are not aware that someone intends to cause them harm. Even if one child is protected, this ordinance will be a success."
The proposal will take effect on July 6 and coincide with a new state law that takes effect at the same time. The new state law restricts sexual predators from living within 1000 feet of schools.
Key provisions of the ordinance are:
· Limited access of 1000 feet at the following park areas when children are present unless accompanied by another adult who is not required to be listed on the Sex Offender Registry:
- Public playgrounds
- Recreational centers
- Bathing beaches
- Swimming or wading pools
- Sports fields or facilities
· Sets penalties at $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $2500 for each additional offense that occurs within one year.
President Gray said, "Since we are a local government, we cannot make this a criminal offense, but based on the civil authority that we have from the state, we’ve done everything possible to make this a strict law."
Council rules only require eight (8) votes to return a proposal to committee.