ONLY ON 7: Alameda Co. Probation Department to move near school

The Alameda Co. Probation Dept. is moving from its current location in Jack London Square to a new location near a school.
March 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Worried about the safety of their children, parents are demanding action. They're fighting a plan to open a probation office for convicts, just steps from an East Bay elementary school.

The Alameda County Probation Department is moving from its current location on Broadway and Fourth in Jack London Square to a building on Jackson and 11th in Chinatown. The problem is that location is right across the street from Lincoln Elementary School.

Lincoln Elementary School is right across the street from the building where Alameda County wants to relocate its probation department. That makes a lot of parents nervous.

"We've been informed the parolees will also be visiting this probation office," said Dennis Ho, a Lincoln Elementary parent.

Alameda County officials told ABC7 News all types of offenders, possibly even sex offenders, would report there.

The probation department was already in the process of moving-in, when school administrators and parents recently found out.

"There hasn't been any response in terms of a community group meeting. No responses and we just want some answers first, and we want some kind of security," said Cheryl Ho, a Lincoln Elementary parent.

Alameda County spokesperson told ABC7 News the project has been in the works for a couple of years and by next year the probation department will move into the building, which is right across the street from Lincoln Elementary School.

In California, Jessica's Law prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, although there's no restriction on where they report for probation.

"I was quite upset. I had no idea that probation clients were going to be seen there," said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. She says the county is now trying to move part of the probation department to another building so parolees won't come near the school. "I think we need to give the county administrator time to talk to the various departments to see what alternatives there are."

Chan says she should hear from the county administrator by next week.

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