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La Habra votes to ban sex offenders in parks

KABC-TV covers Los Angeles and Southern California.

September 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The La Habra City Council approved a plan Monday night that bars registered sex offenders in city parks and playgrounds.

"The City of La Habra took a big step today in protecting children from dangerous sexually deviant predators by creating this safety zone. This law will discourage sex offenders from going to parks in La Habra, where they could have easy access to children and potentially get acquainted with them in the grooming process," stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. "I hope that other cities follow the leadership shown by the La Habra Mayor and Council Members and pass a similar ordinance in their cities."

According to the OCDA, California Penal Code sections 290 require individuals convicted of certain crimes to register as sex offenders. The registration process is used to ensure that such offenders shall be readily available for police surveillance at all times because such offenders are deemed likely to commit similar offenses in the future.

The city voted to create a child safety zone to further protect children from registered sex offenders in County parks and harbors. The ordinance was developed and proposed by District Attorney Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson and makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine, for registered sex offenders to enter County recreational areas where children regularly gather without permission from the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), who enforce the Ordinance. La Habra is in the Fourth District represented by Supervisor Nelson.