Burkburnett Mulls Restrictions, Regulations For Sex Offenders - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Burkburnett Mulls Restrictions, Regulations For Sex Offenders

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Tonight we're digging deeper into our investigation of the safety of your children from sex offenders.  Burkburnett is trying to follow the rest of Texoma's lead in protecting its youths.

As we've told you here on Newschannel 6, Burkburnett is the only city in Wichita County with no regulations in place for where a registered sex offender can live.

When it comes to sex offenders, this spring has been a forgettable one for Burkburnett.  A murder here exposed the fact that registered sex offenders live within walking distance and clear sight of Hardin Elementary School, parks and other youth institutions.

But from this nightmare next door comes an opportunity - the chance for the outcries to potentially turn into a workable solution.

"It is a big problem here in [Burkburnett] and we need to have it straightened out and get them out of here," says resident Sally Teague.

There seems to a clear consensus: this tight knit community needs to be a safe community, free from the threat of sex offenders like Tommy Murrow - arrested last month and accused of murder, but the investigation revealed he was also a registered offender living just a block away from Harlin Elementary.

It's a controversial issue that has residents fired up in Burkburnett.

"I think they ought to bundle them all up and throw them off a bridge. Let them drown," says an emotional Jerry Kemp.  "That way we wouldn't have to wonder where they're at."

"I think they ought to have it where there's an ordinance of where they've living at and I do believe they should not be able to live near a school or any other little kids," adds Teague.

Tonight's city council meeting will officially broach the subject, enabling residents to sound off on Burkburnett's lack of any restrictions or regulations concerning its 20 registered sex offenders with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

And behind one confident rookie commissioner, they're ready to make something happen.

"I've taken it upon myself because the constituents brought it to me and as a public servant that's my job," says 25-year-old Chase Thornton.  "My job's to work with the people and represent them in their interest...Personally I'd like to see some general restrictions where they can live to public and private youth facilities, parks and schools."

Thornton is quick to point out that his ideas for an ordinance are simply that - just ideas. At tonight's city council meeting there is no concrete law up for a vote - rather it's a definitive opportunity for residents to come out, have their voices heard, and get the council moving on drafting a workable solution.

Jonah Kaplan, Newschannel 6