COLUMBUS – There may be a new way to identify those who have committed felony crimes in your neighborhood.
State Rep. Matt Huffman has proposed a new bill that would create a database of everyone who’s committed a felony crime against minors. Among those felonies are child assault, child endangering, murder, rape, and kidnapping.
The Lima Republican has been working with Scott Ferris, director of Allen County Children Services, to propose this legislation. Ferris first approached Huffman about this idea last year.
“We want parents to have more tools to protect their children,” Ferris said. “We want to centralize these public records into one location.”
Ferris said the idea for the database came from the tragic death of Christopher Faulk, a Beaverdam boy. He was killed by an unrelated adult who was living in his home.
Ferris said if a child has one or more unrelated adults living in the same house, it’s 50 times more likely that they will be harmed.
“This can be very beneficial; it’s a successful tool because the responsibility is on the parent,” Ferris said.
Ferris said House Bill 242 will go through hearings in the fall and hopefully be passed. It would go into affect 90 days after being signed by Gov. Ted Strickland.
Ferris said this new legislation will work well with the Children Services campaign, “Choose Your Partner Carefully … your child’s life depends on it.”
Huffman is also confident in this proposed bill.
“People don’t know about someone’s background and with some of the recent cases, there can’t be a whole lot of opposition,” Huffman said. “There’s not a database like this and it will be easily accessible.”
Ferris said the bill could be very effective.
“Hopefully there will be a decrease in crimes because parents will have this tool,” Ferris said.