A north side city councilman has a controversial proposal designed to make kids safer in city parks, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
Carlton Soules unveiled his proposal at a meeting of a City Council committee on Wednesday. It would make all city parks 'Child Safety Zones.'
Soules says that would require that any registered sex offender who ventures into a city park for any reason could be immediately arrested and jailed.
"They can be removed, they can be arrested, if they are on parole, they can be found in violation of that parole," Soules says.
He says the designation of parks as Child Safe Zones where sex offenders could not venture has been upheld .
"The Attorney General has already ruled that is okay to do," he said.
The proposal came at a meeting where Police Chief William McManus reported cases of sexual offenses, particularly indecent exposure, are on the rise.
"In 2012 it was 42, and in 2013, it jumped three to 45," McManus said.
He is suggesting either undercover Park Police officers step up patrols in city parks, or volunteer 'park stewards' be enlisted to keep an eye out for suspicious sexual activity and then notify police.
Soules says his idea has worked well elsewhere.
"A lot of smaller towns have created Child Safety Zones around gathering places for children," he said.
Statistics show that sex offenders, especially child sex offenders, are more likely to re-offend than violators in almost any other category of crime.