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Sex Offenders Banned from City Parks

Registered offenders will need written permission from the sheriff to enter Mission Viejo parks after the City Council approved a new law Monday.

Correction: The Mission Viejo City Council unanimously agreed for city staff to draft a law banning registered sex offenders from city parks Monday night.

The ordinance, as proposed by , would require a signed permission slip from the sheriff for any sex offender to enter a city park. It mirrors which applies to all county parks, harbors and beaches.

Many Orange County cities, including Rancho Santa Margarita, La Palma, Costa Mesa, Lake Forest and Placentia, have discussed or enacted similar laws.

KC October 18, 2011 at 05:46 AM
It seems like a somewhat toothless thing since, I am guessing, that there isn't going to be a police officer on duty 24/7 and offenders are not wearing tracking anklets, and it sounds like it is like the bee-keeping ban where it solves a problem that wasn't actually there. This mostly looks and feels like people working with the view of quantity not quality (though it's hard to imagine quality and city council in the same though since it's a small scale thing) and they don't need to worry about oposition since no one would bother.
childsafetyoc October 18, 2011 at 05:46 PM
This is a tool for law enforcement when they receive a call about a suspicious person or an attack. If the SO is not on probation or parole, they can now be arrested for taking pics of kids in parks or "grooming" them for future molestation. There are around 1900 registered SO's in OC. These are only the ones that have been caught and are deemed more "high risk" then say, a person who urinates in public. If you knew all the stats on how many offenders there are that havent been caught, or that the offend between 30-60 times before being caught, or that they conviction rate is low and the recidivism rate is high, you may change your mind to think that protecting our children should be first and foremost. The problem IS there. Jaycee Dugards captors have newly released videos showing them videotaping possible victims in parks. There are reports of SO's in parks or parking lots "watching" children all the time.
KC October 18, 2011 at 06:41 PM
I don't think they would need a tool like this for an attack considering, it's an attack after all. You actually are giving me a perfect example of the culture of fear that has grown in sheer oposition to reality. If I recall, crime stats from the FBI have shown consistent declines in these sorts of crimes against children, and your 1900 is all of them (most being in north county) and not just the high risk ones (I did find a few on there that were on for things like public urination). Again, it's toothless since you would have to have the parents (how many parents go to parks anymore?) notice the person within the park (rather than outside the boundary) realize it's a sex offender, call the police, have the guy hang about long enough for them to show up, then get caught. We already have enough crime calls of "suspicious individuals" here and I can't think of one that panned out to anything, so I would not be surprised if this law fixes a problem that didn't exist in the city.
childsafetyoc October 18, 2011 at 08:18 PM
This is what I am trying to explain to you. If an SO is not currently on probation or parole, but was a say, child pornographer, he is free to take pictures of kids in parks. This has happened several times, as I stated earlier. When the cops come, they cannot arrest him, even though they know who he is and where he lives. How many parents go to parks??? Out of touch much? A lot. If you were a parent in this situation you sure wouldnt act this way. Also, to educate you on how it works, people that are listed for public urination are done so because the judge felt they were at a higher risk. Not just a kid peeing on a tree, but other actions led them to believe they were a risk. Each case is obviously different. It's this frame of mind and the unwillingness to learn and listen that frustrates me. I have already told you there are many of these situations occurring in places children play. You say we already have enough crime calls? Well, then, by all means, lets stop calling the police when sickos are out there trying to hurt children. That makes sense.
KC October 18, 2011 at 08:29 PM
So what you're saying is they would simply have to stand on the sidewalk with a stronger lense and being across the street and they would be within the law... Again, what I am trying to explain to you is that the numbers are down and that a lot of the fear has been drummed up for no reason other than ratings. I would say I'm not out of touch considering I have to pass one all the time and it's empty or has a single parent/nanny there. The judge may have felt they were a higher risk or simply wanted to make an example out of them, but either way the public may not be in any danger. Likewise, it frustrates me that people, such as yourself, automatically assume that there are just dozens of child molesters waiting at parks for the kids to show up. But so far you haven't been able to produce a single case of this happening within the city. The reason I discount the crime calls on suspcious people is that (when you read them) the person is gone before the police arrive or there is simply no actual problem. Remember that we live in one of the safest cities in the US, the only reason we dropped down from 1 or 2 slot was that we had some robberies of banks and jewelry stores. You cannot have the city be a cesspool of sex offenders and be the safest city.
childsafetyoc October 18, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Clearly you are not open to educating youself on this. Close your eyes and the problem will go away. I took the time to educate myself because I have children and its important to me. It seems you would rather argue than do that... The numbers are not down. Thats crazy. I do this for a living so please dont insult me. With respect to parks - there have been two cases of SO's in parks recently in MV. One in Lake Forest recently. Yesterday the DA convicted an SO for entering twice in Westminster. Feel free to look them up, Im not your research assistant. No one said anything about cesspools or fear, except you. You are making this more dramatic than it needs to be. I will say it again, its a simple tool for when it is needed. Get over it.
KC October 18, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Ok then, please show me your numbers. I was going off FBI stats, so if you have different ones. Also, please provide the information on the 2 in MV (since that didn't make news).
childsafetyoc October 18, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Im not sure what you are suggesting. The number of arrests? Convictions? Recidivism? I happen to have these articles saved: http://missionviejodispatch.com/council-votes/schlicht-proposes-safe-parks-ordinance/comment-page-1/ "In 2009 a registered sex offender was arrested and returned to state prison after being reported watching girls at MV’s El Dorado Park near Jeronimo and Montilla. Last year a local resident, who attended MV kids’ sports events, was sentenced to prison for flashing on jogging trails and other isolated locations. A MV resident is currently on trial for a sex act near 15-year old girls at the RSM Library." Here is the LF story: http://lakeforest-ca.patch.com/articles/neighborhood-watchdogs-unite I have talked to countless police, sheriff, and oc park rangers about their experiences with SO's. Have to run now, meeting some parents at a park...yeah, my busy park.
KC October 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Arrests are partially meaningless since they may be released if the cops were wrong, convictions are the important ones.Recidivisim rates are also good to know, but they show more that warehousing a criminal (regardless of the crime) is a futile activity since it doesn't better anyone. The 2009 complaint is hardly recent and is an isolated incident. For example, several years ago someone got stabbed (fatally, if I recall) by the lake, that doesn't make it a high crime area. And "a sex act" (if it's the same one that was in the paper it was masturbation) does not compare to sexual abuse. Even then, I'm assuming you read her proposal, doesn't mean arrest if a sex offender decides to enter the park. The worst (unless a parole or probation violation) they can expect is a fine. No jail, no cuffs, just a piece of paper. But again, I'd like to see the stats.
beentheredonethat October 19, 2011 at 03:22 AM
childsafetyoc - you state you are an authority on the issue because you do this for a living. Care to shed some light on your profession?
childsafetyoc October 19, 2011 at 03:44 AM
Im an advocate for child safety and children on abusers, both sexual and physical. Again, I never said "high crime", KC. I said it was a tool to be used. I dont know why you are so dramatic. I can't figure out if you are against this law in general, or just for sex offenders. Its a no brainer that this law should be in place, as it is in the County parks and beaches and cities alllll over the country. And, yes, they are arrested and convicted, just like the Westminster man yesterday. It's the DA's ordinance, so you can bet your butt he will prosecute. Look, obviously you are in support of sicko's so I dont have time to sit around trying to shed some light on the subject. I have real work to do and cant spend my time arguing with someone who just wont be open minded and clearly doesn't care about protecting our kids. Best of luck to you.
childsafetyoc October 19, 2011 at 03:51 AM
I cant let this comment go though, it made me sick to my stomach - "And "a sex act" (if it's the same one that was in the paper it was masturbation) does not compare to sexual abuse." When a man is masturbating to children, you should be very afraid. That may just be something small in your eyes, but it is a clear indicator that he is a predator who will or has acted before. SO's do all kinds of sexual acts, they dont just stick to one thing. So they can be a child pornographer, who submits 100+ pics to join a ring (meaning he is abusing children to get these pics), he can be a friend at church who grooms people into trusting him and abuses their children, he can be abusing his own children or within his family, etc. If you truly are interested in learning more about it, please do some research on the real facts about SO's and how they operate. Otherwise, please dont make comments like that. Take care.
KC October 19, 2011 at 03:58 AM
I am against wasteful uses of power. As you are stating, it's isolated and you are jumping to conclusions. Just like with the beekeeping laws, traffic light cameras, etc. there was no grounds for it other than being able to tack it onto the city council's list of things they passed. As an advocate you are showing a vested interest in your viewpoint, which is fine, but it doesn't make you an expert. This is the third time I have asked for stats and you have danced around the request.
KC October 19, 2011 at 04:00 AM
Woah woah woah... back that crazy train up there. He was masturbating *NEAR* them, not to them. It is not a clear sign of any form of predatory behavior, which also shows me that you aren't an expert. Right now you're just pulling data from serious cases in an attempt to bolster an isolalated incident. I am interested in learning the statistics, so pelase provide me with real ones.
Dan Avery October 19, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Hey KC, walk away, it's China Town. This is just another one of those politicians playing a crass card no one can object to in order to appear like she cares about children because she's running for reelection. If Schlicht actually cared about kids, she would participate in the March Against Drugs every year, she would support the Symphony in the Park event because music has been taken out of schools; she would support and participate in the Arts Festival; she would participate and support the Readers' Festival and the authors series since both are heavily focused on Children's authors; she would be in favor of putting shade over the bleachers in the city parks; she'd be in favor of the dog park, so kids would have a safe place to play with their dogs; she would have wanted anyone other than outtabounds in the Potocki Center because they only help 13 kids at a great cost to the city...I could go on but what's the point? People are powerless and angry. It's pathetically easy to get them to lash out at someone like a child-abuser.
KC October 19, 2011 at 09:33 PM
It is a sad statement on society when they have gone from rational individuals to nothing more than glorified livestock willing to trade freedoms for the illusion of safety. How does the city council respond to commentary on the law being unable to do anything, let alone possibly illegal?
beentheredonethat October 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM
childsafetyoc - I second KC's polite and repeated request for valid statistics / research, please.
Dan Avery October 20, 2011 at 07:13 AM
Your first article is from a highly questionable source. The editor of that blog has willfully lied several times around city issues. The blog solely exists to rag on the city council because they won't do his bidding -- except for Schlicht and Reardon who do whatever he says.
Dan Avery October 20, 2011 at 07:18 AM
Actually the city council just asked the city attorney to look into the possibility of a law. I would assume the majority of the city council views this issue for what it really is: Cathy Schlicht holding up a form letter that was sent to 500 elected officials back in April and claiming to be a child advocate because she wants to be reelected but hasn't done a thing to help our community in a positive way. Schlicht is a craven coward who knows no elected official would vote against a law banning sex offenders from public parks because then that politician would be labeled as supporting perverts. She and everyone else on the council know the law would be judged unconstitutional. Schlicht is desperate and playing the worse kind of politics imaginable.
KC October 20, 2011 at 07:31 AM
I was just looking up the state's "Stop and Identify" laws (they vary from state to state) and this state has very strict limits on the use. So lets say you were creeping (as a registered offender or not) in a park doing whatever creepers do, and a mother calls 911 on you, and you stay around for the cops to show up. If the officer asked for your ID, you could legally refuse as there is nothing probative that would allow him to search your person. Since we are talking about threats, the greatest threat to park saftey isn't sex offenders, it's women. If I recall, all the incidents of sharp objects being buried in the sands of playgrounds were done by women, not men, and not sex offenders. I say we ban women from parks, for the children!

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