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October 27, 2011

AZ - Buckeye bans sex offenders from parks

10-27-2011 Arizona:

BUCKEYE, AZ - New rules now keep sex offenders from entering the town of Buckeye's parks.

Buckeye town councilman Craig Heustis spent years patrolling the streets as a St. Louis a police officer and detective.

He's seen the damage done to children by sexual predators and is trying to stop it from happening in the town of Buckeye.

Heustis recently introduced and pushed through a new ordinance he hopes will make a difference.

"It just bans all registered sex offenders from anywhere, coming from anywhere to stay out of the parks," he said.

The new rule bars sex offenders from parks, rec centers, ball-fields and the community pool.

Only after applying for an exemption and having it approved by the chief of police could a sex offender enter a town park facility.

Parents and grandparents said they are behind the new rules.

"For so many offenders to live in this area around here, it's rather scary," LaDonna Crain said. "It's scary to me as a grandma. I think absolutely they should not be allowed around the park at all."

Parents admit some sex offenders may go around the law, but feel it would be a deterrent for most.

"Now that it's a law, I am sure a lot of parents are going to feel much better to know at least they are not allowed in parks," Isabel Flores said.

Heustis believes other communities will take a close look at their own versions of the rules. "I would figure it might be something they might want to look at. Each one would have to make their own determination how they feel about it," he said.

Residents say the ban works for them.

"I think it's a fantastic idea and I think it should have been done earlier," Crain said. ..Source.. by Eric English

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