Proposes new restrictions for sex offender residency
Councilman Luis A. Aponte introduced an amendment to the Providence Code of Ordinances at tonight’s City Council meeting to codify restrictions for registered sex offenders residing in the City of Providence.
The amendment calls for stronger restrictions for sex offenders who reside in the City of Providence. It increases the distance sex offenders may reside from schools, daycares, and recreational areas from a 300-foot radius to a 500-foot radius. It also redefines the term “daycare” from a school with a certified pre-K program, to include all licensed daycare facilities that are clearly marked with at least one sign. Registered sex offenders will also be prohibited from entering or loitering within a 500-foot radius of the premises of a school, daycare center, or recreational area.
“The City of Providence has no ordinance regarding restrictions for sex offenders,” stated Councilman Luis A. Aponte. “We have depended on state and federal statutes to serve our needs, but what we have learned from Richard Gardner moving into the Washington Park neighborhood is that sometimes those statutes aren’t enough to keep our families safe. Last night at our community meeting, hundreds of neighbors expressed concerns, fear, and outrage that Mr. Gardner has only to register with the police in the jurisdiction where he lives and must stay 300 feet away from schools. For a man that has committed such heinous crimes these restrictions are not satisfactory. Until our state representatives and senators can craft strong legislation, we need to act now.”
The ordinance that was brought to the floor at tonight’s meeting will be sent to the Committee on Ordinances to be vetted and reviewed. Councilman Aponte hopes that this will happen at the committee’s earliest convenience.