LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Opening Juvenile Records


It took a lot of work from some very dedicated people to get this legislation passed. HB3 was originally drafted and based on the recommendations of the Kentucky Coalition Against Sexual Assaults (KCASA), a group that is headed by Lt. Governor Steve Pence to develop a plan for improving Kentucky's current sex offender laws. The idea of strengthening the sex offender laws is one that was long overdue. Like most bills, additions were made and the final product is one that will help Law Enforcement Officers throughout the Commonwealth in protecting children from sexual offenders and the public from violent juvenile offenders.

This is a very proactive piece of legislation that will serve the people of Kentucky for many generations to come. For those of us in Law Enforcement it will add additional tools in fighting crime.

The Bill was signed into law on April 19, 2006.

Here are the components of HB3:

Convicted sex offenders must stay 1000 feet from the furthest point of the of the property line of schools, public pools, and daycare centers.

Possession of child pornography will be moved from a misdemeanor crime to a felony.

A jury will have the opportunity to sentence a repeat sex offender to a lifetime in prison without the possibility of parole for a minimum of 25 years.

Public schools and universities will have the authority to require contractors to have criminal background checks.

Felony juvenile convictions and those involving deadly weapons will be open to the public.

Law enforcement will be allowed to review all juvenile court files, regardless of conviction.

The top 4 provisions of this HB3 have the strongest language ever written to protect our children from the perverts and pedophiles that prey on them.

The final two provisions were the hardest to pass and the ones that will greatly enhance Law Enforcement Officer's ability to fight juvenile crime. We found ourselves pitted against groups that think juvenile records should remain shrouded in secrecy, to protect their innocence. As a Police Officer for over 18 years it has been a long time getting to this point. Many times over the years including my time investigating homicides I ran into a stone wall while trying to solve crimes and obtain the suspect's criminal record because he was a juvenile. It is ludicrous to believe that because a person has not reached their 18th birthday that they should and did receive protection under the law that would not allow us to view their records.

We found ourselves with some unlikely allies in our venture to get this legislation passed. Lobbyists from media outlets were on hand to testify to their needs and the needs of the public to be able to learn about violent offenders in the community under the age of 18. The public does have a right to know if the child down the street is a violent juvenile offender.

Governor Ernie Fletcher proudly signed the Bill into law last week at Peaks Mill Elementary School in Frankfort and gave credit where credit was due. I commend Lt. Governor Pence for his commitment to the families of Kentucky, and I applaud all members of the Kentucky General Assembly for supporting this legislation, said Governor Fletcher. House Bill 3 will help us protect the most vulnerable members of our society our children. The strengthening of sex offender laws is long overdue. It is a tremendous honor for me to sign this bill into law today. Here are some of the folks that worked very hard for the passage of this legislation:

Representative Joni Jenkins (D-Shively), who sponsored the bill in the House, said This legislation will give parents additional tools they need to protect their children from harm. We are sending a clear message that sex offenders will not be tolerated in Kentucky.

Representative Stan Lee (R-Lexington) played a key role in making sure the bill contained language that opened certain juvenile felony records. Parents have the right to know if a student at their children's school has a violent criminal record. Information is the most valuable line of defense a parent can have, said Lee.

The Kentucky Senate also took the lead in strengthening the bill in several areas. Senator Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) carried the bill in the Senate and serves as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 3 is a good and strong piece of legislation that is the collective result of the hard work of the Lieutenant Governor's Office, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, Stivers said.

Senator Julie Denton (R-Louisville) also carried the bill in the Senate and applauds the legislation as a proactive measure to protect families. HB 3 lays the groundwork to help ensure the safety of our children, said Denton.

Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington) echoed the sentiments. This truly represents a bipartisan effort to protect Kentucky's children.

We would like to thank FOP President Bill Keeling who testified at the Senate Hearings supporting this legislation. We would like to thank LMPD Officers Brad Woolridge and Jason Schweitzer & Sgt. John McGuire for their diligent efforts lobbying for the passage of this bill.

Most importantly we would like to thank a very wonderful person who has helped all of us through a difficult year, Rebecca Grignon. Rebecca is the widow of LMPD Officer Peter Grignon who was murdered by a violent juvenile offender on March 23, 2005. Rebecca also testified at the hearings in order to gain this key legislations' passage.