After Wednesday, law enforcement in Hamilton County is ready to tackle the latest amendment to Ohio's sex offender law.
Prosecutor Joe Deters met with county and city officials to get a better handle on who will enforce the new law, and how. "I'm going to do my duty, and that's to get those people away from schools," Deters says.
The law makes it possible for a judge to evict any registered sex offender from their home, if they're living less than 1,000 feet from a school building or school-owned property. Deters and the sheriff's department are now drawing up maps to determine who is violating the new law. He says several offenders have already been found to be living too close.
But as officials look at the map, they're noticing the possibility for other change. For instance, Over the Rhine has so many schools in such a concentrated area, that it's now almost impossible for a sex offender to move there. Which is fine for Angel Ballard and her family.
"It gives parents a sense of security to know that our kids can come to the park and play," she says. "Or go to the school or the corner store without having to worry if someone is going to snatch them or might be looking out their window at them."
But Ballard's good news, makes Kevin O'Connor nervous. O'Connor's Delhi Hills home is more than 10,000 feet away from the nearest school. And with 36 registered sex offenders already living in his family's zip code, he worries newly evicted offenders will end up moving nearby.
"A thousand feet, it's really not enough," he says. "A thousand feet's not that far away from the school. I guess a thousand feet is kind of a joke."
"[The law] is going to cause a lot of problems, I have no doubt about it," Deters says. "But that's not my problem. My problem is if we have an offender within a thousand feet of the a school that we carry out the law."
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