Several Florida cities and towns have adopted laws that require people convicted of sex crimes against minors to reside at least 2,500 feet – about half a mile – from schools, school bus stops, day-care centers, parks, playgrounds or other places where youngsters congregate, says the Los Angeles Times. “We see these sexual predators living close to our children as as much a risk to public safety as a building falling down or a firetrap,” said Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer.
In some municipalities, the prohibited places include just about everywhere, which some argue could make the laws unconstitutional. Others say the laws could backfire by lulling communities into a sense of security that the ordinances can’t deliver. One reason for the quick succession of municipalities approving the new rules on where sex offenders can live is that no one wants to be last. “If you border 4-5 municipalities that are all together and one of them is not putting this ordinance into effect, that is probably the location the sexual offenders are going to live,” said Jan Seiden, city attorney for Miami Springs.