Tucumcari throws curve ball at sex offenders

Tucumcari throws curve ball at sex offenders

NewsChannel 10

Tucumcari, New Mexico - Posted: only players and coaches allowed inside dugouts during girls softball games or practices.

It's a new measure the City of Tucumcari is taking, in response to recent concerns by parents about people who are registered sex offenders, attending youth sporting events.

City Manager Doug Powers says, "We followed up and found out they were on the list. Right away we sent out a memo to our coaches stating during practice and game times, only the players and coaches are allowed on the field."

That's because any adult who wants to participate in a city sponsored activity, has to pass a background check.

Recreation Director Scott Simpson says, "If you have a parent wanting to help, they can't just come out on the field and help. They have to go through us, get a background check and then they can help, once they are cleared."

Now the city is changing some wording in their youth athletic volunteer forms to clarify the rule.

Powers explains, "We also went and looked at our volunteer form, and modified it just a little bit. We used another category called children, youth, and families that would be used as an area we can do a background check."

According to state law, registered sex offenders can't be banned from parks and other places, unless they have certain restrictions placed on them.

Simpson says, "We can't do anything from watching, but we can keep them from interacting with the other kids."

It's all in the name of keeping kids in Tucumcari safe.

Powers adds, "It's our responsibility if someone is out there with the kids, we need to have that clearance form and be satisfied that they are eligible to be doing that."

We're told a recreation department staff member will be on hand at every game to ensure the rule is being followed, and at practices, it's up to the coaches to police the problem.