Pioneering Child Protective Law Wins Final Approval
Deerfield Beach’s pioneering law regulating businesses that are physically near areas where children congregate got an endorsement from the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Youth Intervention & Enforcement Division Tuesday, then won final approval from the four commissioners present.
Speaking in his capacity as an expert in school security, BSO Lieutenant Anthony DeMarco praised the city’s effort to mediate between the demands of development and safety of citizens, especially children, by regulating how those businesses may operate.
“I would like to see more cities adopt such things,” he continued.
Deerfield Beach has embraced what City Attorney Andrew Maurodis described earlier this year as a groundbreaking law allowing the city to address what it deems are security concerns associated with businesses located in areas near places with children.
As Maurodis explained during the first public hearing on the law in February, the ordinance is designed to address security concerns in a proactive way, much like way similar ordinances address issues such as color, odor and traffic.
With approval of the law on March 5, every application to do business in Deerfield Beach now will be considered in light of its proximity to places where children congregate, like schools, parks and some homes. With that in mind, the new ordinance empowers city officials to directly address those concerns.
So, for example, employees might be required ot have background checks, or a gun shop might have to put a tall wall between its property and an adjacent residential area.
On Tuesday, it was DeMarco who best said how it will secure the safety of children. “It’s o.k. to have a two story school with the school on the second floor,” he said, “as long as the first floor is not an explosives plant.”