Another City Looks to Ban Sexual Predators and Offenders

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

Springfield city commissioners are now discussing an ordinance that will keep sex offenders and sexual predators from living within 2,500 feet of any place where children congregate.

City officials say they may not have any other choice now that the cities surrounding Springfield have passed their own restrictions.

Chris Hubbard, City Clerk, says, "Once the other cities surrounding us start passing ordinances such as this, then our primary concern is the safety and protection of our citizens, and if we didn't do something like this, then unfortunately sexual predators will be pushed out of other counties and into our city limits. So we're gonna do what's best for our citizens."

A map shows the areas that will be affected. Springfield and Callaway are yellow areas. Panama City and Parker, which have both passed their ordinances, are in red.

If Springfield and Callaway both pass, predators and offenders will be banned from most of the eastern half of the county. For some, even that isn't far enough.

Eva Robinson, a Springfield resident, says, "Well, I would like them to up the ban and for them to be removed from the U.S. really."

Crystal Jones, another Springfield resident, adds, "I'm a firm believer they should be banned where areas children are going to be, schools, I'm a firm believer in that."

If Callaway and Springfield pass their ordinances, that would leave Cedar Grove, Lynn Haven, Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach as the only cities that would allow sex offenders and sexual predators under the current 1,000 foot state restriction.

Should commissioners decide to move forward, the first reading of the ordinance will be March 6.


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