Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPLAUDS LOS ALAMITOS FOR ADOPTING NEW LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
SANTA ANA – The City of Los Alamitos enacted tonight a law to create child safety zones to protect children from registered sex offenders in city parks and playgrounds after a first reading of the ordinance. Los Alamitos City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance adopted today, Oct. 17, 2011. The Ordinance will officially become law 30 days after the second reading, scheduled Nov. 7, 2011. The City Council includes Mayor Kenneth Stephens, Mayor pro tem Troy D. Edgar, and Council Members Gerri Graham-Mejia, Warren Kusumoto, and Marilynn M. Poe.
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.
“Although Los Alamitos has five persons who appear in the Megan’s Law website, they are surrounded by dangerous sex offenders who could enter their parks, including more than 766 sex offenders registered in Long Beach,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The citizens of Los Alamitos should thank their city council for working to protect their children from violent sex offenders who may be lurking in their parks.”
At the City Council meeting tonight, Mayor Stephens explained, “I know this will benefit our citizens.”
“I have been watching this Ordinance across the County and wanted to bring it to our city,” said Mayor pro tem Edgar.
“We should do anything we can do to protect children and if this is one added layer, I am for it,” explained Councilwoman Poe.
“These people find their way in,” stated Councilwoman Graham-Mejia. “This is to protect our community.”
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.
The Los Alamitos City 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. The Ordinance was developed and proposed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson (Fourth District) 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 re