Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the day the final sex offenders moved out from the infamous encampment under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. However, the problems that created the camp in the first place haven't been totally eased, and earlier this year sex offenders started popping up in a road side encampment in Shorecrest. In hopes of preventing anymore sex offenders from moving into the area Miami city commissioner Marc Sarnoff has decided to open a tiny pocket park a few feet from the new encampment.
A county ordinance restricts sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet from a school or other places where children congregate. Even after some of the more restrictive points of the law were scaled back in the wake of the Tuttle camp, there are still very few places where registered sex offenders can live within Miami.
In March, the Miami Herald reported that almost two dozen men started camping out at the Southwest corner of Northeast 79th Street and 10th Avenue in Shorecrest where they stayed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. in the morning. Though the Florida Department of Corrections denies it, the campers said they were given the address by probation officials after they were released from jail.
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According to NBC Miami, Sarnoff has now created the The "Little River Pocket Park," on Northeast 10th Avenue just south of 79th Street on an empty lot just across the street from the encampment.
The sad little park includes two springy playground fixture, and not much more. Though the new park will preclude more sex offenders from setting up camp on the corner. Those were already live there will not be forced to move, but the new park means that the area is off limits to any more offenders.
City officials plan to sue the Department of Corrections over the new encampment.