YMCA of Central Florida to begin screening for sex offenders

(Photo via WKMG)
(Photo via WKMG)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beginning in August, the YMCA of Central Florida will start screening its members and guests to find out whether they are registered sex offenders.

"There is nothing more important to us than the safety and security of our members, staff and volunteers," the organization said in part in a statement announcing the new policy.

Under the policy, all members, guests and non-member program participants will be checked against a national sex offender registry. The screenings are set to begin Aug. 1.

Language regarding the change has already been added to the YMCA's code of conduct, a contract all members agree to follow when they sign up.

News4Jax checked with the First Coast YMCA, the organization's partner in Northeast Florida, which said all of its locations currently screen for sex offenders. That policy has been in place since 2008.

Michelle Moore, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the local organization, said in a statement that the group is "committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all."

"The YMCA reserves the right to deny access or membership to any person who has been accused or convicted of any crime involving sexual abuse or is or has been a registered sex offender," she added.

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