Tulsa Police Concerned About New Sex Offender Laws
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa police say new sex offender registration laws are going to make that problem even worse when they take effect on Thursday. Tulsa police say the new sex offender laws will essentially make the entire city of Tulsa out of bounds for sex offenders to live, which they say essentially makes citizens less safe than they were before.
Starting Thursday, sex offenders are going to learn there is basically no place left in the city for them to live. The new law says no sex offender can live within 500 feet of any victim of any sex crime, whether that crime happened last year or 20 years ago.
"This is feel-good legislation, is all this is," said Tulsa Police Sergeant John Adams.
It also adds home daycares to the 2,000-foot rule. DHS has nearly 200 of those, which means all those areas are now off limits.
"Our legislators feel they're just going to move. No, they're not. They're gonna stay right here. They're just not going to register," said Adams.
He said that defeats the whole purpose of the law's intent, which is to let the public know where sex offenders live.
"I put you in a room with 20 rattlesnakes. Do you want me to leave the light on where you can see them or turn it off where you can't see them? You want the light on. You want to know where the sex offenders are living," said Adams.
Tulsa has 460 registered sex offenders and one officer to keep track of them all.
"I don't know how we're going to do it, I really don't. I don't know how we're going to find a place for them to live legally," said Adams.
And, of course, these law changes apply to all of Oklahoma. Police believe the sex offenders already living there won't have to move but any sex offender coming in will have to abide by all these new laws.
Police said they do feel two law changes are positive: sex offenders cannot loiter within 500 feet of their victim or live within 2,000 feet of their victim.