Are your kids safe? No restrictions for sex criminals near public pools
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Hitting local pools is a summer tradition for thousands of local kids. But who's around when they dive in? When it comes to public pools, there are no limits as to how far away registered sex offenders need to stay.
KBOI 2News checked Boise's outdoor city pools to see just how many sex criminals live within a one mile radius.
South Pool has the highest number, with 83 registered sex offenders in the area. There are 59 near Fairmont Pool, 45 around Ivywild Pool, 39 within a mile of Lowell Pool and 38 nearby Borah Pool. We got these numbers from Idaho State Police's Sex Offender Registry.
Some parents we talked to were shocked. Boise resident Rich Richardson says he takes his kids to South Pool all the time. He says he doesn't like that sex offenders can be around his children at the pool.
"If they can't be near a school, they probably shouldn't be able to be near a pool either," he said.
But KBOI 2News talked to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, and officers say it's perfectly legal for registered sex offenders to be at public pools around children.
The sheriff's office says the laws are how they are because parents aren't able to be with their kids at school, but when they're out of school, it's parents' responsibility to keep their children safe in public places.
Richardson says that's exactly why he takes precautions when his kids go to the pool.
"You can't rely on the people who work here to make sure everything's taken care of," he said, "So as a parent you have to do your own diligence."
Many of Boise's public pools are located near schools. Registered sex offenders, with some exceptions, are not allowed within 500 feet of a school. But they can go to any pools in the Treasure Valley that aren't located within that restricted distance from a school.