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South Portland considers keeping sex offenders away from schools

SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- It's a public safety measure that's been taken in cities and towns throughout Maine and now South Portland is considering an ordinance to keep registered sex offenders away from kids.

This ordinance would impact the more serious sex offenders, those who committed a crime against a child under 14 years old.

They would be forced to live at least 750 feet away from schools as well as 17 parks.

It's being proposed by South Portland police Chief Ed Googins who says the issue is a priority.

26 sex offenders currently live, work or go to school in South Portland. Ten of them live in the city and six in the restricted zones.

If the ordinance is passed, the six won't have to move but offenders moving to South Portland in the future will have to play by the new rule.

Parents tell us it's a step in the right direction; however, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is taking issue with this ordinance.

In a letter to the city manager, chief Googins says he feels this ordinance does balance the interests of sex offenders, still leaving enough options for where they can live.

The issue goes before the city council on May 5th.