DeSoto Co. Supervisor wants stronger sex offender laws - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto Co. Supervisor wants stronger sex offender laws

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - One Mid-South county is ready to crackdown on sex offenders living in the area, and county leaders are looking at new laws to help them.

The state of Mississippi currently has tough sex offender laws in place, but DeSoto County Supervisor Allen Latimer wants to strengthen those laws even more.

"If there were anyway possible we could have an order that provided more protection for the youth of our community and city then I think it would be a worthwhile cause," Latimer says.

The existing state law says sex offenders are prohibited from residing within 1,500 feet a school or daycare facility. Last year, it was strengthened to include group homes, playgrounds or other recreational facilities.

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco says sex offenders have 10 days to register after they move into the county.

If they don't, "We go to the address they're living at, bring them to the office and make them register, or we put them in jail," Rasco said.

Latimer would like to see an ordinance extending the distance from 1,500 to 2,500 feet. DeSoto County attorney Tony Nowak says it could be possible.

"I think they have some jurisdiction to adopt an ordinance, the question is how far can they go with that ordinance," he said.

Lois Williams, a mother of four girls, says she will support any law to keep children safe.

"I think you would be hard pressed to find any parents that wouldn't agree with any legislation they wanted to pass to strengthen laws," she said.

According to the District Attorney's office, there are approximately 100 sex offenders living in DeSoto county. They say that each municipality has the right to impose tougher restrictions.

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