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South Portland eyes limits on where sex offenders can live

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins speaks in opposition to LD 660 Tuesday in Portland on May 22, 2013, with Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck standing behind.
By Shelby Carignan, The Forecaster

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The South Portland City Council showed unanimous support on Monday for residency restrictions on registered sex offenders.

The proposed restrictions on residency would prevent registered sex offenders from living within 750 feet of public and private schools, parks and recreation centers.

The restrictions would pertain to sex offenders convicted of Class A, B or C crimes against children under age 14. Mayor Jerry Jalbert said the city has 10 registered sex offenders listed as residents, and another 16 who work or go to school in the city. A map attached to the ordinance outlined restrictions around 28 locations in the city.

“There’s been and will continue to be debate as to the effectiveness of residency restrictions, but it can’t be disputed that if a sex offender reoffends, the question is always asked, ‘Could we have done more?’” Police Chief Edward Googins told the council.

City Manager Jim Gailey said there has been no official communication about the proposed restrictions between the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and the city. No residents at the meeting opposed the ordinance, which will be up for final approval on May 19.


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