Mount Enterprise Passes Sex Offender Ordinance - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/5/07

Mount Enterprise Passes Sex Offender Ordinance

Joe Shumate is the long time city attorney for Mount Enterprise. Six months ago, he says the council started looking at other cities' ordinances restricting how close sex offenders can live to places children commonly gather.

"We looked at several, and I think many of them were just knee-jerk reaction for a city, or a city council to just trying to make a loud statement, and they weren't very well thought out," says Shumate.

The ordinance the council passed restricts sex offenders from living within one thousand feet of schools, playgrounds or anywhere groups of children can be found.

However, there are exceptions in the Mount Enterprise ordinance for underage offenders and those already living in restricted areas.

"If somebody's already living there, and there's not a problem, I don't think it's appropriate for us to make them move out. That's inappropriate," says Shumate.

According to the website familywatchgog.us, there are only three offenders living in Mount Enterprise. None of them will be affected.

City council members told us the ordinance was proposed as a preventive measure and wasn't prompted by any specific problems.

The proactive stance is is being applauded by Mount Enterprise Superintendent Dean Evans.

"It's always kind of in our mind that we need to be conscious of the fact that we do have sex offenders that live here, and we do live near two major highways," says Evans.

The city says the new ordinance protects the community's children without stripping away the rights of sex offenders who have repaid their debt to society.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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