North Hudson sets sex offender free safety zonesCertain parts of the village have been set aside as restricted areas sex offenders are forbidden to reside near following action by the North Hudson board of trustees last Tuesday.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
Certain parts of the village have been set aside as restricted areas sex offenders are forbidden to reside near following action by the North Hudson board of trustees last Tuesday.
Police Chief Mark Richert presented the board with a map outlining the areas in the village that would be restricted and summarized the eight-page document detailing the ordinance.
“The purpose is to try and protect our children,” Richert said.
Richert pointed out that a Supreme Court decision forbids banning sex offenders from living anywhere in the village.
The ordinance is aimed at child sex offenders and restricting them from living or congregating with 200 feet of the safety zones which include parks, schools, five registered daycare centers and the Bible Baptist Church, the chief said.
“Are our children going to be safer if we pass this ordinance?” asked trustee Daryl Standafer.
Richert said the answer was impossible to state absolutely. Hammond and Hudson have passed (similar) ordinances. Somerset and New Richmond are working on similar law, the chief said.
The concern may lie with not passing the measure. “If we are the only village without (such an ordinance) we will become a resting place for child sex offenders,” Richert said.
Richert said the ordinance only applies to registered sex offenders of child victims. He said there are three sex offenders currently living within North Hudson that are exempt from the new law. “Only one fits the ordinance but lives outside the safety zones,” he said.
The board passed the ordinance by a 5-0 margin; trustees Sandra Whalen and Jim Thomas were absent.
See the December 10th print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer for other action by the board from this meeting.