BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Brevard County commissioner is hoping to take a state law even further.
What You Need To Know
- Ordinance seeks to restrict sex offenders from certain businesses
- Offenders would be able to be within 1,000 feet of businesses where children congregate
- Brevard County commissioners will take up the agenda item next week
As it stands, any person convicted of sex offenses involving minors cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, child care facility, park or playground. The county's current ordinance only states offenders cannot be within 1,000 feet from a school, daycare or playground.
County Commissioner John Tobias is hopeful that list will soon include some local businesses.
“It's an ordinance at the county level. State has a buffer and we've expanded that,” he said.
According to Tobias, the fiscal impact is minimal – creating and maintaining a registry and enforcing it.
“It would give law enforcement the ability to arrest one of these offenders or predators who are within that 1,000 foot buffer from the business,” Tobias said.
Obloy Family Ranch owner Eric Obloy said he's excited about being part of a new voluntary registry, certifying their business is a place where children regularly congregate, which would restrict sexual offenders and sexual predators from coming within 1,000 feet of the business.
“I'll be one of the first ones to sign up, protecting our kids and community,” Obloy said. “I think our county commissioner hit a home run on this one.”
Opting in is free for business, and as Saracco Law Attorney Michael Saracco said, it's perfectly legal.
“I personally think they can, but enforcement will the issue – something enforced if caught doing something else on the property,” Saracco said.
As a father and business owner, Obloy said sign him up, and he hopes other business sign up too. This will give children going to camps and places where kids hangout an extra layer of protection.
“If we stay on the path of virtual schools, we are going to see a lot more kids throughout the year. So, having this protection on top of that so much more of a piece of mind,” Obloy said.
The registry would be valid for a year with the option to renew.
The agenda item will go in front of county commissioners next Tuesday.