Moms weigh in on Englewood sex offender ordinance

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- During a day at the park, moms are usually worried about protecting their kids from cuts and bruises, and making sure they expend a little energy. The last thing they want to worry about is sex offenders.

“You have that in your mind at all times anyway,” said Paige Alford.

It makes many parents feel safe to know their city has restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live. The city of Englewood’s ordinance makes it a crime for any sex offender to live within 2000 feet of a park, school, or a playground. But now a federal district court says that is unconstitutional.

It started when a convicted sex offender who purchased a home in the city went to register with police.

“That’s when he was told, ‘you can`t live in Englewood’,” said Mark Silverstein of ACLU Colorado.

The ACLU took his challenge to court and won. A judge ruled the ordinance “leaves essentially no place for offenders to live.”

“If a local community can effectively banish sex offenders from that town, then the next town will have the incentive to enact similar restrictions and the next town, and the next town,” said Silverstein.

That's something even these moms can understand.

“I can see both sides of the coin. Where are you able to live, then?” said Alford.

The City of Englewood’s legal team is reviewing the ruling. They will decide whether to appeal it during Monday night’s city council meeting.

There are other Colorado cities with similar ordinances, including Greenwood Village, Castle Rock, and Commerce City. The ACLU said this ruling will likely impact those cities as well.

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