Missoula County Coverage

Feb 3, 2014 9:02 PM by Jacqueline Quynh - KPAX News

Bonner principal proactive against area sex offenders

MISSOULA - Parents in one Missoula neighborhood are alarmed a sexual offender is living close to them - and to an elementary school.

But this is not new - it's been allowed for years. Montana has no residency requirement, meaning sex offenders, once released from prison, can live anywhere, even near a school, with the approval of a probation officer.

There is little parents or law enforcement can do to discourage sexual offenders from moving in, and that's why Bonner School Superintendent Doug Ardiana says he's taken an extra step to keep kids and parents safe.

Twice a year he sends home a letter to parents, and a warning to registered sex offenders to avoid school areas.

"Well, we are a rural community, my experience has been more with rural schools where there hasn't been a huge law enforcement, and I really just believe it's public information, it's been out there. But, people don't know it's out there, and people don't know how to access it, and they don't realize how close it might be in their neighborhood,” said Ardiana.

Ardiana has kept the program running for 11 years. So far the closest he tells us the closest sex offender - and not all are pedophiles - live nearly two or three miles away from the school.

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