City of Kyle passes child safety zone ordinance, only applies to incoming sex offenders

Hays

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Finding a place to live in the City of Kyle is now more difficult for sex offenders — but only some of them.

A new child safety zone ordinance introduced by Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett restricts where registered sex offenders can live. This won’t apply to offenders who already live there.

“We didn’t want to displace people that are currently residing in Kyle, especially during a pandemic when residency requirements are different for everyone in general,” Barnett said.

Kyle currently has 63 sex offenders.

These new child safety zones will limit sex offenders to live solely in the blue areas, 1,000 feet away from schools, daycares, parks, etc.

Child Safety Zones map from the City of Kyle
Child Safety Zones map from the City of Kyle

“We were hearing from quite a few of the sex offenders who currently do not reside in Kyle… would call us and discuss whether we had a sex offender residency of this type or not,” Barnett said.

The new law addresses the City of Kyle’s growth, which is quickly approaching 60,000 residents, according to Barnett.

Though many sex offenders are already regulated on where they can live by the state, not all are. It depends on the level of their offense.

This is something those helping reintegrate offenders into communities are mindful of, making sure they have a home.

“95% of the folks who come through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice end up being back in society, being our neighbors, and it’s our job to do everything we can to make sure they have all of the programs and all the skills that they need to be successful,” Jeremy Desel with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Barnett said a local compliance officer working with the state will do monthly and even weekly check-ins to make sure offenders are complying, saying they will be aware of requirements before moving to Kyle.

“…this was all for creating safe environments for our families, for our children,” Barnett said.

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