Daytona Beach community builds playground to keep sex offenders from moving in

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Volusia County neighborhood is using a new playground to keep sex offenders out of their community.

The new park sits in the middle of the Bayberry Lakes subdivision in Daytona Beach.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison learned Assistant State Attorney Ryan Will lives in the neighborhood and fought to get the playground built after learning the area was open to sex offenders and predators.

The $27,000 playground now blocks sexual offenders and predators from moving anywhere close.

"I appreciate it and I think it's actually a pretty clever idea," said neighbor Amanda Weston. "I'm surprised other locations haven't thought of it."

The playground was completed last week, but Will said he thought of the idea more than a year ago. The idea came to him when he said a federal task force searched a home in the area and found something disturbing.

"The person they were searching had been involved in child pornography and was interested in 4- and 5-year-old children, so I started looking into it a little more to see ways we could get him out of the neighborhood," said Will.

Will said he approached his neighbors with the plan to protect the entire neighborhood. By city ordinance, sex offenders and predators can't live within 2,500 feet of any place frequented by children, including playgrounds.

While the new playground can't force offenders already living in the area out, it will keep others from moving in.

"It's absolutely a way of discriminating against them. We don't want them in our neighborhoods. This is a way to keep them out," said Will.