NEW PORT RICHEY — City Council members have beefed up New Port Richey's sex offender ordinance by requiring residents with sex crime convictions in other states to register with law enforcement.
The registrations would then make it illegal for the sex offenders to live near schools, churches or parks. The city already prohibits such offenders from living within 2,500 feet of such facilities, a stricter ban than the state's 1,000-foot buffer.
The measure approved Tuesday night closes a state loophole in which offenders with sex convictions from other states were not required to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — and thus were not subject to the buffer requirements.
After a legal review by city attorneys found that cities can close the loophole on their own, council members unanimously approved the amendment.