|For Immediate Release
May 22, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPLAUDS SANTA ANA FOR EXPANDING LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
SANTA ANA – The City of Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance yesterday, May 21, 2012. There will be a second reading of the Ordinance June 4, 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 Miguel Pulido, Mayor pro tem Claudia Alvarez, Council Members David Benavides, Carlos Bustamante, Michele Martinez, Vincent Sarmiento, and Sal Tinajero.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Orange County District Attorney’s Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder were present at the City Council meeting to address public concerns and advocate for the passage of the ordinance.
“Santa Ana is Orange County’s second most populous city and I commend the leadership of Santa Ana City Council for incorporating the County ordinance,” stated District Attorney Rackauckas. “This law will help protect the rights of children and parents to enjoy and play at parks and facilities that are meant for children.”
“Santa Ana’s children and their families deserve the freedom to enjoy our parks, recreation centers, and libraries without the risk and fear of sex offenders preying on them,” stated Mayor pro tem Alvarez. “The amendments made to the City of Santa Ana’s Sex Offender Ordinance were a result of joint efforts with the District Attorney’s office. The amendments strengthen law enforcement’s work in protecting such freedoms for our children. I’m proud of our city’s partnership with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas in the fight to protect our children from sex offenders and commend him for his efforts county-wide.”
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 Santa Ana 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.