Buckeye police chief to address sex offender concerns

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The community of Verrado.  (12 May 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5] The community of Verrado. (12 May 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5]

The Buckeye Police Chief is reacting to calls of concern from the Verrado community after a level three sex offender moved in. 

In a facebook post, Chief Larry Hall says there have been “several calls to the Buckeye Police Department related to this issue as well as some misinformation on social media regarding the current [registered sex offender] laws as well as the rights of any RSO living within the community.

Hall declined an interview ahead of the community meeting scheduled to be held at the Verrado fire station Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

The social media storm takes aim at a Level three sex offender who was convicted in 2003 of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.  The man’s father spoke off-camera, saying his son is only staying with him temporarily and neighbors should not be worried.

The chatter on social media has varied with some saying sex offenders should be left alone.  Others took a more negative approach insisting the man should be forced out of the neighborhood.  Some comments appeared to be veiled threats of violence.

“I think that's wrong,” says neighbor, Alice Steele.  “Because it creates an issue with people who might be violent against him which would cause problems in the neighborhood.”

Steele says she has not seen the sex offender who lives a few houses down the block. 

“My daughter is more concerned,” says Steele.  “But her boys know what to do with strangers."

Steele also said the man’s parents had gone door-to-door informing neighbors about their son residing with them.  But it appears the friendly outreach has not quashed concerns. 

Buckeye police say the Saturday morning meeting will not focus on one individual, rather it will be an opportunity for anyone to ask questions about sex offenders in the community.

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