NORTH PORT (WWSB) - Parents in North Port have been on high alert since the sexual predator, Timothy Rice, was arrested for allegedly touching young girls inappropriately at a swimming pool. Now, Suncoast communities are stepping up efforts to make sure kids have a safe place to play.
“I was appalled,” Kateri Clemons, a mother of two from Englewood, tells us, “I was like how can something like this happen?”
Timothy Rice, who was already a convicted sexual predator, found himself behind bars once again after deputies say he was caught touching multiple little girls inappropriately at both The Cedar Grove Pool in North Port and The Ann Dever Regional Park swimming pool in Englewood.
"When you bring your kid to community places or county run places, you should feel safe,” Clemons expressed.
Now, many local pools are trying to implement security measures to keep out unwanted visitors.
"We have young kids here and young people moving into our area, and we want to protect them. This is why we’re coming up with new procedures like passes in and locking people out,” William Seaver, a Board Member for the Jockey Club, explained.
The Jockey Club installed new surveillance cameras, and is enforcing strict rules on who has access. Most pools will now require an id to enter - that way officials can track who has been inside on a daily basis and if they are from the area.
"I think it should’ve been like this since to begin with honestly. It’s always a bad thing when something has to happen to make change come, but I think it’s great that they’re being proactive and I think it’s a great idea,” Clemons said.