Sulphur City Council discusses increasing sex offender fees - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur City Council discusses increasing sex offender fees

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There was more discussion Monday night in Sulphur about raising registration fees for sex offenders. It's an approach a lot of cities are adopting. The City of Lake Charles increased their fees for sex offenders in 2011.

However, not everyone agrees it is right to target just one group of criminals.

"Why can't we do it with the money we already have available? I can't see raising taxes and targeting this one criminal element," said Randy Hebert.

The City of Sulphur currently has 22 registered sex offenders living inside the city limits. The proposal by Councilman Stuart Moss would require them to pay a $200 renewal fee. All new registered sex offenders wanting to live in Sulphur would have to pay a one-time $600 registration fee, in addition to the renewal fee. 

Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coates said the extra money will pay for the overtime for officers conducting the compliance checks.

"My take on this whole deal is the taxpayers' money has paid for the adjudication of this person for the moment this crime was investigated through the judicial process and incarceration. At that point, in my opinion, the taxpayer's money should stop," said Coates.

"We have to do it. We need to do it. We've got an influx of people coming into the area. We need to be proactive, instead of reactive. Let's be proactive and get in front of everything. I'm not trying to chase anybody out of the city ... I'm just saying it's time you have to pay for the man hours," said Moss.

No action was taken at Monday night. The final vote on the issue will happen at next month's meeting.

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