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Ordinance bans sex offenders, predators from decorating outside home

Ordinance introduced by General Counsel

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new city ordinance awaiting Mayor Lenny Curry's signature is designed to better protect children from sexual offenders and predators.

The City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that bans registered sex offenders and sexual predators from putting up decorations outside their home.

They don't necessarily have to be holiday decorations. They can be anything on a property that could potentially entice a child.

The ordinance was introduced by the General Counsel.

Some of the limitations include lighting, figurines, posters, artwork, crystals, scarecrows or anything that's "visible to the public and primarily targeted toward children."

VIEW: Proposal to ban sex offenders, predators from decorating outside home

News4Jax spoke with crime and safety analyst Gil Smith about why a rule like this is necessary.

"Even though sexual predators do prey on kids that they know and trust, it is still possible, and it does occur sometimes where they will seek out neighborhood kids," Smith said. "If they have anything flashy for small kids or lights or any type of decoration, like scarecrows, like that, that would draw kids at least to walk by or come close to their home."

There is currently no law that bans sex offenders from putting up decorations, but some local governments pass ordinances to put rules into place.

There are similar rules in effect in Nassau and St. Johns counties.

To search for sex offenders in a neighborhood, tap or click here.


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