Thirty Des Moines police officers will inform nearly 300 child molesters starting Monday that they must move to new homes, reports the Des Moines Register. It is the first step to enforce a controversial state law that bans most offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child care center. The 2002 law, which survived state and federal court challenges, has created headaches for law enforcement agencies across Iowa. “It’s just more complicated than what it looks like,” Des Moines Police Chief William McCarthy said. “We have a real difficult situation ahead of us, but we’re going to comply with the law.”
A map shows tiny slivers of land where most convicted molesters may live legally. Said Police Sgt. Barry Arnold: “I don’t know that anybody could actually find a place to live.” The enforcement will come after six weeks of sorting through files of more than 500 registered sex offenders in the city. Exempt from the enforcement is anyone who lived at the address before 2002 or before the school was built or the child care center opened. Arnold expected that nearly 300 registered offenders will be asked to sign a letter that shows they understand the law, then be given roughly a month to move. Violators could be sent to prison for two years and fined $5,000.