Unlike Stephenville’s city council, elected bodies in Dublin and Hico have no immediate plans to look into further prohibiting registered sex offenders from living near places where children generally congregate.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Crime Records Service, 15 registered sex offenders currently have Dublin addresses, while five presently have Hico addresses.
In Stephenville, City Council member Nancy Hunter is proposing an ordinance to prohibit registered sex offenders from living within a half-mile of places where children congregate.
Dublin City Manager David Carrothers said he will “leave it up” to Police Chief Lannie Lee to decide whether Dublin needs such an ordinance enacted.
“As long as he can handle it and everything is working fine, I leave it up to him,” Carrothers said. “But if he sees a problem, then he’ll bring it to me and the city council and we’ll address it.”
In addition, Hico City Administrator Lambert Little said passage of such an ordinance isn’t planned in Hico, either.
“The city of Hico has had no discussion regarding ordinances dealing with sex offenders,” Little said.
Asked if he anticipated any movement, Little said, “I really do not.”
Across Texas, legislation is being pushed and passed to limit where registered sex offenders can reside.
Hunter’s proposal would require registered sex offenders to reside only in locations that are not within 2,500 feet from places children frequent, such as schools, child care centers, and public parks.
Currently, a Texas state law adopted in 1994 - under the Child Safety Zone - requires all registered sex offenders to reside at least 1,000 feet away from any location where children congregate in public. In 2003 that law was amended to further restrict movement inside Child Safety Zones, as well as provide exemptions for certain approved activities, such as parole reporting.
However, the state does allow cities and municipalities to enact regulations that meet or exceed the 1,000-foot distance.