[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ridgefield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Child Safety Zones
Since the Town of Ridgefield (the "Town") has a compelling interest in protecting children from the threat of sexual abuse from child sex offenders, it is hereby resolved that, to preserve and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the children of the Town, it is in the common interest to enact reasonable regulations restricting child sex offenders from entering child safety zones.
When used in this article, the terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings set forth thereafter. When not inconsistent with the context, words in the plural number include the singular, and words in the singular number include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Terms not defined below shall have the meanings set forth in C.G.S. § 54-250, as amended.
- CHILD SAFETY ZONE
- Any park, school, playground, recreation center, bathing beach, swimming pool or wading pool, gymnasium, sports field, or sports facility, which is under the jurisdiction of any department, agency, or authority of the Town, including but not limited to the Board of Education of the Town of Ridgefield, or leased by the Town to another person for the purpose of operating a park, school, playground, recreation center, bathing beach, swimming pool or wading pool, gymnasium, sports field, or sports facility. "Child safety zone" includes any and all buildings, land, parking area or other improvements located on the same parcel on which each of the aforementioned facilities is located but does not include any public street and also does not include any public sidewalk which is located on the outside boundary of a child safety zone. A document listing every child safety zone in the Town and a map illustrating every child safety zone in the Town will be available at the Ridgefield Town Hall.
- A. A person who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of a "criminal offense against a victim who is a minor," "a nonviolent sexual offense," a "sexually violent offense," or any felony that the court finds was committed for a "sexual purpose," as those terms are defined in C.G.S. § 54-250(2), (5), (11) and (12), as amended, and who is required to register with the Commissioner of Public Safety pursuant to C.G.S. § 54-251, 54-252, 54-253 or 54-254, as amended; or
- B. A person who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in any other state, in a federal or military court or in any foreign jurisdiction of any crime the essential elements of which are substantially the same as any of the crimes specified in C.G.S. § 54-250(2), (5) and (11), as amended, and which requires registration as a sexual offender in such other state or in the federal or military system, and who resides in this state on and after October 1, 1998.
It shall be unlawful for a child sex offender to be present in a child safety zone.
This article shall not apply to:
Any person whose name has been removed from the Connecticut Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender Registry ("Sex Offender Registry") or from the registry of any other state or in the federal or military system by act of a court or by expiration of the term such person is required to remain on such registry.
Any person entering into a facility in a child safety zone for the sole purpose of voting in any municipal, state or federal election or referendum, provided that the person leaves the facility immediately after voting.
The extent that the conduct prohibited by this article is in conflict with any sentence or order of probation or parole imposed upon a sex offender.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall make reasonable efforts to provide prompt, actual written notice of the enactment of this article (which notice shall contain a copy of this article) to all persons who are listed on the Sex Offender Registry as of the effective date of this article, as well as those persons who are added to the Sex Offender Registry thereafter, which persons' addresses (as shown on the Sex Offender Registry) are within the Town. Such notice requirement may be satisfied by the mailing of such notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of such person as listed on the Sex Offender Registry or as otherwise known to the Chief of Police. The failure of any person to receive such actual written notice shall not be a defense to a violation of this article.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a child sex offender is in a child safety zone in violation of this article, the officer shall require the suspected child sex offender to provide his/her name, address, and telephone number. If it is established that the individual is a child sex offender, then the officer may issue an infraction ticket to the offender and require the offender to leave the child safety zone.
Any person in violation of this article shall be fined in the amount of $250 for each violation or the maximum imposed by state statute.
Any provision of this article held to be unconstitutional or superseded by state law or regulation shall not serve to invalidate the remaining unaffected provisions hereof. No provision of this article shall serve to validate any activity otherwise prohibited by state or local law or lawfully enacted zoning regulations.