Sex offenders banned from parks and rec areas in Locust Fork

By Ashley Nix

LOCUST FORK, AL (WBRC) - The small town of Locust Fork passed an ordinance Tuesday night, banning sex offenders from parks or recreational areas.  In Locust Fork, it's only one park, the only one in the town.   But it's a popular, busy place on any given evening or weekend, full of families and children.

"A lot of parents like to come walk and let their children play," Kim Wood, a parent said.  "You don't wanna be worried someone is going to approach your children."

Which is exactly why Locust Fork's town council unanimously passed a ban on sex offenders.  What does it mean?  Sex offenders are not welcome in the popular park.  

"It was a no brainer," Mayor Joe Hughes said.  "It was the right thing to do."  Hughes says there aren't any known safety problems in the park, but this is a proactive step, according to Hughes.  

"If you wanna go buy groceries, go buy groceries..if you wanna go get gas, go get gas, but don't be hanging around where children are," Hughes said.   

Wood says she's in total support.  "It gives you the willies to think someone is lurking when your kids are there, because the playground is right there," Wood said.  

Linda McMillan, who uses the park for exercise appreciates the step to keep her and children safe.  "We don't want it to happen, so don't give them the opportunity to let it happen," McMillan said.
 
Hughes says the bottom line is, "Were not trying to police anybody, we're just trying to do the right thing."

The fine for anyone who violates the new law is $500.

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