For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPLAUDS FOUNTAIN VALLEY FOR EXPANDING LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
SANTA ANA – The City of Fountain Valley enacted a law yesterday to expand child safety zones to protect children from registered sex offenders in city parks, playgrounds, and other children’s facilities after a first reading of the ordinance. The Fountain Valley City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance yesterday, Oct. 2, 2012. There will be a second reading of the Ordinance Oct. 16, 2012. The Ordinance becomes effective 30 days after the second reading. The ordinance incorporated many of the County’s Sex Offender Ordinance to their existing Child Safety Ordinance. The City Council includes Mayor John Collins, Mayor pro tem Mark McCurdy, Council Members Larry Crandall, Steve Nagel, and Michael Vo (Councilman Crandall had an excused absence and was not in attendance at the meeting last night).
Orange County District Attorney’s Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder was present at the City Council meeting to address public concerns and advocate for the passage of the ordinance.
“We have not experienced a significant amount of these events in Fountain Valley. However we are proactive in maintaining a safe community and this ordinance will be an additional tool in that effort, stated Mayor Collins. “Our parks are places for our kids to be kids and what makes Fountain Valley an attractive place for families. This ordinance is about preserving Fountain Valley as a ‘nice place to live’ and raise a family.”
“Parents and children should expect that our parks are safe and free from sexual predators,” stated Council Member Nagel. “While this ordinance does not preclude the need for parental vigilance, it does give our police personnel an essential tool to help keep our parks free from threats.”
“This proactive ordinance gives the District Attorney an additional tool in the prosecution of sexual predators, protects the people of Fountain Valley and serves as a virtual fence, barring convicted sex offenders from our city parks,” stated Council Member Vo.
California Penal Code sections 290, et seq. 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. Sex offender registrants are also banned from entering County recreational and City parks which have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance.
The Fountain Valley Ordinance was modeled after the County Ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the Orange County Board of Supervisors April 5, 2011, and took effect May 5, 2011, to create a child safety zone to further protect children from registered sex offenders in County parks and harbors.