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Pasco To Provide Hurricane Shelter Space For Sex Offenders

Daylina Miller/WUSF News
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco talks about the space for registered sex offenders at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel.

Pasco County is the first in the Tampa Bay region to open a space at a hurricane shelter for registered sex offenders.

Sheriff Chris Nocco said they'll be given space at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel.

"You have to provide shelter for people,” Nocco said. “I agree with any parent out there. I don't like sex offenders either. I don't want them around us, I don't want them near my kids. I get that 100 percent."

Every shelter will have deputies stationed there. Known sex offenders were notified prior to the start of hurricane season that they’d be assigned to the high school and most report to sheriff’s deputies when they arrive.

“If a sex offender fails to report in at any of the shelters, that’s a misdemeanor,” Nocco said.

Sex offenders will be housed separately at the school and guarded by deputies.

“They’re not near kids, they’re not near anybody else,” Nocco said. “They’re gonna be segregated off.”

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.