FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Fort Myers City Council is considering tougher restrictions on registered sex offenders. If passed, sex offenders must stay at least 300 feet from parks and schools. The question is whether the proposed rule is too strict or exactly what is needed to protect the city's children.
Tonight, the city is holding a public hearing and wants to know what people think.
Currently, state law prohibits a sex offender from living less than 1,000 feet from public places where children might be present. This ordinance would add an extra layer to that, specifying that an offender can't be present 300 feet from a school, park, daycare, etc. Civil rights groups have complained the proposed rule is too strict, leaves few options for sex offenders and is essentially a way to get them back into jail. Some residents say they don't have much sympathy for that argument.
This rule mimicks one that is already in effect in Lee County.
The public hearing on the matter will take place at the 4:30 City Council meeting, and that portion of the agenda is set to take place after 5:00 p.m.