Saturday, March 24, 2012
Speaker: Lenore Skenazy
Host: Amy Draves
Date recorded: 20 March 2012
The media labeled Lenore Skenazy 'America's Worst Mom' when she let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone. She wore the badge with pride and went on to found Free-Range Kids, the book, blog and movement dedicated to the idea that our kids are SAFER and SMARTER than our culture gives them credit for. Learn how today's parents became so afraid about everything and how we can regain the perspective that allows us to trust our kids, our community and our own good-enough parenting.
By Phillip Zonkel
CERRITOS - The City's director of community and safety services told the City Council Thursday that banning registered sex offenders from public places isn't going to prevent crime.
Gary Berg made his comments as the City Council delayed voting on whether registered sex offenders should be banned from entering, loitering in or using a city park. Leaders instead asked City Manager Art Gallucci to prepare ordinances that would ban offenders from all public places.
One ordinance would apply only to registered sex offenders convicted of sex acts with minors, and the other one would apply to all registered sex offenders.
About 26 registered sex offenders live in Cerritos, according to staff reports.
Gallucci didn't say when he would return the ordinances to the council for a public hearing.
Councilwoman Carol Chen and Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows said they supported banning registered sex offenders from all public places as a means of protecting the public.
- From ALL public places?
But when Councilman Joseph Cho asked Berg how the ordinance would be enforced, Berg said it's a reactionary measure.
"It's not going to prevent anything," he said.
In reality, the deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Cerritos Station don't know the faces of all registered sex offenders and would have to wait for someone to report an incident to them before they could investigate, Berg said.
"It's after the fact," he said.
Cho also expressed concern about the possible ordinances, saying they put an undo burden on people, restricting their movements.
"We have to find a balance between improving community safety and protecting our civil rights," he said. "Even though they are registered sex offenders, they are still residents like us."
"We have to protect everyone's civil rights."
The council began discussing the idea of an ordinance last October after other municipalities in Orange and Los Angeles counties passed similar measures.
In October, Los Alamitos passed an ordinance setting up "child safety zones" that ban sex offenders from city parks and playgrounds.
Los Alamitos modeled its law after a similar law passed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, adopted nearly a year ago. The county ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for a registered sex offender to enter - without permission of the Sheriff's Department - county recreational areas where children regularly gather.
After studying the issue at its Jan. 18 meeting, Cerritos' Community Safety Committee recommended to the council an ordinance that only restricts registered sex offenders convicted of sex acts involving minors.
Committee members were concerned a broader ordinance might be vulnerable to a lawsuit, according to the staff reports.
However, at its Feb. 2 meeting, the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended to the council an ordinance that bans all registered sex offenders from entering city parks.