Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPLAUDS HUNTINGTON BEACH FOR ADOPTING NEW LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
*This Ordinance contains the toughest protection of children in the County
SANTA ANA – The City of Huntington Beach enacted a law yesterday to create child safety zones to protect children from registered sex offenders in city parks and playgrounds. Late on Nov. 7, 2011, Mayor Joe Carchio, Mayor pro tem Don Hansen, and Council Members Devin Dwyer and Matthew Harper voted to create a safety zone in Huntington Beach. Council Members Connie Boardman, Keith Bohr, and Joe Shaw voted in opposition to the sex offender ordinance. There will be a second reading of the Ordinance at a later date. The Ordinance becomes effective 30 days after the second reading.
Orange County District Attorney’s Office 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.
“Huntington Beach has set a new standard in protecting children from sexual predators by enacting the toughest ordinance prohibiting sexual predators from entering parks,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Special thanks to Mayor Carchio, Mayor pro tem Hansen, and Council Members Dwyer and Harper for making children’s safety a priority.”
At the meeting, Mayor Carchio spoke passionately to convince his colleagues to pass the ordinance. “I don’t want to be sitting up here and say… that I had the ability and didn’t use it and some child got abused. I just can’t imagine that anyone sitting up here, that has a child, that could say, that your child may not get abused. Your child may be in a situation where a sex offender offends your child… what you need to do is to pass the strongest rules against sex offenders in this city because this city… because we need to remove ourselves from all of the sex offenders that are in this city.”
“Huntington Beach, through this ordinance, send a message loud and clear to those who harm children – stay clear of our community,” said Mayor pro tem Hansen.
“As a father, this ordinance was a no-brainer. We need to keep parks free of sexual predators where children congregate,” said Council Member Dwyer.
“I would like to thank the District Attorney’s Office and the Council Members that helped to pass this ordinance,” stated Council Member Harper.
California Penal Code sections 290, et seq. requires 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.