Monday, March 17, 2008

Windsor Locks Considers Sex Offender-Free Zones

WINDSOR LOCKS — - The town may join others in the state considering local laws to protect children against sex offenders.

Selectwoman Denise Balboni wants the town to look into adopting an ordinance that would ban convicted sex offenders from places frequented by children.

Balboni, who has asked the town attorney to investigate whether the town should adopt such an ordinance, said she has been approached by a resident concerned about the number of registered sex offenders in town. The ordinance would fine sex offenders if they're found in established zones, which could include parks, playgrounds, recreational areas and sports facilities, she said.

Sixteen registered sex offenders live in Windsor Locks, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

"That's a pretty high number considering the small town that we live in," said Balboni, who announced her proposal in a statement Wednesday. "Creating a ... zone would provide a level of protection that doesn't exist today."

Actually, the town's sex offenders per capita are about the same as the statewide average, according to data from the state Department of Correction.

Among the town's 12,300 residents, the 16 offenders equal 1.30 per 1,000 population — fractionally below the statewide average of 1.33 per 1,000 population. Hartford has nearly four registered offenders per 1,000 population, the most per capita in the state.

Bristol, with 1.4 offenders per 1,000 population, and Stafford, with 1 among every 1,000 people, have been considering similar proposals.

Danbury became the first municipality in Connecticut to pass such an ordinance, although the number of offenders per 1,000 population there — 0.54 — is among the lowest in the state's larger communities, according to correction department figures. It went into effect in mid-February.

Balboni was approached with the idea by school board member Michael Royston.

"I have heard from quite a few different people, and it is definitely an issue," Royston said.

Contact Lynn Doan at

No comments: