Florida’s statewide frenzy to clamp down on sex offenders intensified yesterday when Seminole County pushed to restrict not only where offenders can live but also where they can go, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Authorities could block certain sex offenders from stopping at the corner grocery store or gas station, if it is near a school or someplace else where children gather. The proposed ordinance would keep all registered sex offenders whose victims were younger than 16 years old from traveling within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, day-care centers, and playgrounds.
Cities and some counties are taking aim at nearly every facet of sex offenders’ lives. Just this week, three cities took the first steps to establish the half-mile buffers on residency. The ordinances would expand the current state-mandated zone from 1,000 feet. Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said Seminole’s proposal would give law enforcement a powerful tool to keep sex offenders away from areas where they are most likely to seek out potential victims. Critics of the large buffer zones warn they might drive some offenders to not register their whereabouts. technology and the state’s new Jessica Lunsford Act that provides for electronic monitoring of child molesters while on probation should make it easier to monitor the movements of sex offenders, Eslinger said.