Bellevue city officials are exploring restrictions on where registered sex offenders could live within city limits.
“Making Bellevue a safer place to live and safer place to play for our children is a priority,” said City Council President Carol Blood.
She is proposing an ordinance that focuses on schools and child care facilities — areas where children regularly congregate in large numbers.
Provisions of the ordinance, which will be on first reading at Monday's council meeting, would make it unlawful for any person classified as a sexual predator to reside within 500 feet of any child care facility or school. A violator would face punishment of a fine up to $500 or six months in jail, or both.
There are 78 registered sex offenders residing in Bellevue, according to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. In Omaha, 803 sex offenders are registered.
Bellevue resident Robyn Mixan, whose child was a victim of sexual abuse, voiced support for restrictions at a recent council meeting.
“I cannot begin to describe the heartache and devastation that my child went through,” she said. “Although my child has recovered, this little child will have lifelong effects resulting from this abuse.”
The Blood ordinance follows guidelines in state law that say restrictions can be made only on sexual predators, extend no more than 500 feet from a school or child care facility and contain a residency grandfather clause.