9 Investigates: Fewer sex offenders living in Ocoee

by: Angela Jacobs, WFTV Web Staff Updated:

OCOEE, Fla. - The number of known sex offenders living in Ocoee has dropped nearly 90 percent.

Channel 9’s Angela Jacobs learned the city has used several factors to push sex offenders out of Ocoee in the last 10 years.

A city ordinance and diligent police enforcement are the main factors, Jacobs said.

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Eyewitness News also learned that police officers are installing license plate readers along every main road, so they can track any sex offender who enters or leaves the city.

Eyewitness News reported Thursday when sex offender Jimmy Seager was arrested for failing to register his address and exposing himself in public.

Lt. Mike Bryant and Ocoee police helped craft the longtime ordinance that keeps sex offenders from being within 2,500 feet of any school, school bus stop, park or day care.

“We put eyes in houses, in rental properties and in our woods,” Bryant said.

The diligence in enforcement means two sex offenders currently live in Ocoee, which is down from 36 offenders in 2006.

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With the city's small size, there's nowhere a sex offender can legally be.

Surrounding cities, Apopka, Maitland, Windermere and Winter Garden also have 2,500-foot restrictions involving sex offenders.

Bryant said the agencies, as a whole, are seeing success from working together.

A 2015 state law that requires homeless sex offenders to check in monthly has helped, as has the shutdown of area homeless camps, Bryant said.

Ocoee's ordinance doesn't keep sex offenders from working in the city and traveling in and out on a daily basis. The new plate readers are intended as another layer of protection.