|For Immediate Release
February 28, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPLAUDS SEAL BEACH FOR ADOPTING NEW LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF CITY PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
SANTA ANA – The City of Seal Beach enacted yesterday 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. Seal Beach City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance adopted yesterday, Feb. 27, 2012. There will be a second reading of the Ordinance on Mar. 26, 2012. The Ordinance becomes effective 30 days after the second reading. The City Council includes Mayor Michael P. Levitt, Mayor pro tempore Gary A. Miller, and Council Members Ellery A. Deaton, Gordon A. Shanks, and David W. Sloan.
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.
“Tonight, the City of Seal Beach has sent a strong message of their unfettered commitment to protect children from predators in parks,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Parks and beaches belong to parents and children, not sex offenders.”
“Our children are our most precious gift and resource,” stated Council Member Ellery Deaton. “Protecting them is our first job.”
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 Seal Beach 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 Seal Beach Ordinance bans all sex offenders from entering their parks, beaches, jetties, piers and adjacent city parking lots. The County 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 regularly gather without permission from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), who enforce the Ordinance.