Castaway Cove Child Safety Concern

Castaway Cove Child Safety Concern

Newschannel 6 found out why the city-owned waterpark does not have a Child Safety Zone in place to prohibit registered sex offenders from living around it.

Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham said Castaway Cove is more like a business, than an actual city park, because it is not completely public.

"Parks are generally thought to be free-access, you know, nobody has to pay anything to use a park," said Mayor Barham, adding Castaway Cove does not qualify because it is fenced-in and visitors have to pay admission.

Child Safety Zones only determine where sex offenders can live, and not where they can go. However, offenders whose victims were minors are usually court-mandated to stay away from places where children commonly go. "If that was on his court order and his stipulations, then legally that sex offender could not enter Castaway Cove," said Mayor Barham.
Still, the idea that sex offenders can live in close proximity to where their kids are running around in bathing suits, makes some Texoma parents nervous. "That's really scary for me," said Aubrey McKlelland. "I have to worry enough about my kids in the water, I don't need to be worrying about who all is waiting or watching or stalking you."

Mayor Barham said the responsibility falls on parents to watch their kids at Castaway Cove, just like they would anywhere else. "Folks have to start taking responsibility for their actions and their kids' actions. You know, Castaway Cove is not a place where you can dump your kids because it's a paid babysitter every day," said Mayor Barham.

Texomans can always use the Sex Offender Registry to see where offenders live in the area.