Martin County's Sheriff wants tougher rules on where sex offenders can live

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - Martin County's Sheriff wants to stop an alarming trend. He says the county has become a safe haven for sexual predators.

"We are actually up over a 100 sex offenders/ sexual predators," says Sheriff William Snyder.

Sheriff Snyder says more sex offenders are calling Martin County home than ever before.

"We've actually become a sanctuary county," says Sheriff Snyder.

The Sheriff blames the county's restrictions on where sexual offenders can reside. Right now they're required to live at least 1,000 feet away from a park or school. It's the same requirement as the state.

"We just want to be on equal terms on our restrictions with Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Okeechobee," says Sheriff Snyder.

Those three neighboring counties have a greater distance. They require sex offenders to live at least 2,500 feet away from parks and schools.

"It's a burden on us and really a danger to the community," says Sheriff Snyder.

Several parents told us they didn't know about Martin County's regulations on sex offenders.

"That doesn't make me feel safe at all with a 2-year-old and I live right down the block," says parent Venus Gough.

Joshua Lott lives near a park and a school in Port Salerno.  We showed him the online map of sex offenders living in his neighborhood.  It showed 15 sex offenders living within a mile of his house.

"I don't like that at all," says Lott who has three daughters.

That's why Sheriff Snyder is calling for change. Parents here agree.

"I'm very overprotective and that makes me even more overprotective of my child," says Lott.

Sheriff Snyder wants Martin County to increase its restriction from 1,000 feet away to 2,500 feet away. He'll present his plan to county commissioners next week.


Comments