Bunnell, FL - At a recent Flagler County Board of Commissioners meeting, Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly makes a case for strengthening restrictions on the sexual offenders and predators that live within the county.
At Monday's (June 7) board meeting, Sheriff Staly discussed deficiencies he discovered in a local ordinance—ordinance 20-377—that governs where sexual offenders and predators may live within the county.
The ordinance in question already dictates that offenders and predators cannot live within 1,000 feet of an area where children can be commonly found, such as schools, daycares, public parks, and playgrounds. But, according to Staly, that's where the deficiency lies.
In a letter Staly wrote to County Chairman Donald O'Brien, the sheriff requested that the ordinance be changed, saying it left out several other locations—like private recreational facilities, libraries, churches, and school bus stops—where children could be found.
"It is a sacred duty to protect the children living and visiting Flagler County," Sheriff Rick Staly said during the meeting. "1,000 feet is the minimum distance allowed by law, I encourage the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners to do more than the minimum to keep our children safe and to amend the ordinances to prohibit sex offenders and predators from establishing a residence in additional locations frequented by our children that are not currently covered."
Staly also made comparisons to Palm Coast Ordinance 35-253, which states that sexual offenders and predators must live a minimum of 2,500 feet away from schools, daycares, public parks, and playgrounds. While he could appreciate the increased distance, Sheriff Staly stated this ordinance is deficient in the same way: not including other locations where children commonly congregate.
Sheriff Staly has also asked the City of Palm Coast to amend their ordinance as well.
According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, there are currently 124 sex offenders and 3 predators living within their jurisdiction.