LOOGOOTEE – The fact that a convicted sex offender has opened a tattoo shop near a preschool brought out an overflow crowd of more than 30 to Tuesday’s Loogootee City Council meeting.
Makenzie Wagoner, 19, made an impassioned plea for city officials and the public at large to take action to protect young children. She does not want the business closed, but rather forced to relocate some place away from children.
Indiana law prohibits sex offenders of minors from living within 1,000 feet of any school property, public parks and certain program centers. However, individual counties may impose other restrictions around movement, employment and alcohol consumption.
Wagoner pointed out that Indiana, unlike Illinois and a few other states, does not restrict a business owned by a convicted sex offender from being located near a school. She would like to see Indiana’s law changed.
Floyd did not comment during the meeting, but his department issued a press release. It stated: “It has come to our attention that there are concerns about a registered sex offender opening a business in Loogootee. We are aware of this happening and found no legal authority to prohibit it. We are aware of his registry status and there is no law prohibiting the operation of this business by this individual. We, as police officers, are obligated to operate within the bounds of the law as they are written.”