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Arrests & Offenders :: Understanding the Sex Offender Ordinance

On June 13th, 2006, the Arlington City Council passed a Sex Offender Residency Ordinance. The ordinance becomes effective on July 2, 2006. The Police Department has received a variety of citizen inquiries about the ordinance and what it means. The following list of frequently asked questions was compiled to assist citizens with understanding the new law:

What does the ordinance restrict?

The ordinance prohibits “habitual” sex offenders from residing 1000 feet or closer to a public park, private or public school or a day care center. Maps are provided at the main Arlington Police Station as well as each Arlington Police District Substation for reference.

Are all registered sex offenders affected by the new ordinance?

No. Only “habitual” sex offenders (those with two or more convictions) are impacted by this ordinance. Under state law (Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 62), offenders in this category are required to “register” with a police department every ninety (90) days. The Arlington ordinance specifically addresses the group of offenders that have demonstrated the greatest cause for concern in reoffending.

Are “habitual” sex offenders required to move if they reside 1000 feet or closer to a public park, private or public school or a day care center once ordinance takes effect?

No. “Habitual” sex offenders living within the 1000 foot buffer zone prior to the effective date of the ordinance are exempt from the ordinance restrictions. If a “habitual” sex offender moves within the City of Arlington after the effective date of the ordinance, they must comply with the ordinance.

If a “habitual” sex offender resides at a particular location, in compliance with the ordinance, and a public park, private of public school or a day are center locates within 1000 feet of their residence, will that offender be required to move?

No. A “habitual” sex offender residing at a certain location, in compliance with the ordinance prior to the establishment of a public park, private or public school or a day care center, will not be required to move from that location.

Does the ordinance prohibit “habitual” sex offenders from visiting or going near City Parks, daycare facilities, or schools?

No. The ordinance addresses residency restrictions for certain sex offenders and does not prohibit a registered sex offender from traveling into or through the 1000 foot buffer zone around a public park, private of public school or a daycare center.

What are the definitions of a public park, private or public school or a daycare center?

These places are defined in the City of Arlington Code of Ordinances, Unified Development Code. Click here to review the City of Arlington Code of Ordinances.

How can a citizen identify a “habitual” sex offender on the police department’s website?

“Habitual” sex offenders (those required to register every 90 days by the state) will appear on the website as having more than one charge listed. This is also true of the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

What is the penalty for violating this ordinance?

Violators may be charged with a class C misdemeanor.