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Supervisor Desmond calls for reform of SVP placement process

SVP placement process reform
Posted at 8:12 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 23:12:06-04

RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. (KGTV )  — San Deigo County Supervisor Jim Desmond is looking the change the placement process of sexually violent predators.

He wrote a letter to the Board calling on his colleagues to oppose further placements of SVPs until local jurisdictions have a voice in the process.

"There's sexual predators already located throughout the county. These are sexually violent predators," Desmond said.

This letter comes amid uproar over the proposed housing of Douglas Badger in a Rancho Bernardo neighborhood.

"It affects their quality of life in the neighborhood knowing you have a sexually violent predator there," Desmond said.

Throughout the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood, signs were plastered on homes and in yards opposing the placement Badger in a home on Frondoso Drive.

Badger will no longer be placed at the home after the property owners rescinded their offer for using the home Friday.

Currently, county officials have no initial say in the placement process of sexually violent predators. The decision is between state agencies and the judge in their case.

"They don't give us any sort of authority of veto power. They ask us to the meeting, but we have no authority at the meeting," Desmond said.

Liberty Healthcare is the agency contracted by the state to oversee the conditional release program of SVPs.

Desmond, who represents District 5, said the agency offers landlords two to three times the rental rate to house them.

"In the case in my district, the landlords were out of state, not engaged in the community, not engaged in the neighborhood and were after the dollar," he said.

Desmond plans the introduce the letter at the Board of Supervisors meeting on October 5.

However, other Supervisors are already showing support for the measure.

In a statement to ABC 10News, Supervisor Tara Lawson-Remer, who represents District 3, which includes the Rancho Bernando area, believes "the process by which the placements of sexually violent predators are proposed is fundamentally flawed."

Here's Supervisor Tara Lawson-Remer full statement:

"The proposal to release a sexually violent predator into Rancho Bernardo, near schools and community gathering places is dangerous, wrong, and should not have been recommended by the California Department of State Hospitals. We all deserve to feel safe in our communities and moving someone with this violent background into a community full of families and children defies logic. The process by which the placements of sexually violent predators are proposed is fundamentally flawed, and I am supportive of Supervisor Desmond's proposal urging the State to reform the process and ensure that the voices and expertise of local communities and jurisdictions are proactively at the table."

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher sent ABC 10News the following statement:

"Everyone should be able to raise their family in a safe and caring environment. I share the grave concerns the residents of Rancho Bernardo have about convicted sexually violent predators being placed in their neighborhoods. As a parent and the author of Chelsea’s Law, I support the rights of parents who want to keep their children as far away from these predators as humanly possible.

The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors does not have a direct role in the relocation of sexually violent predators. Decisions about where to place them are done collaboratively between state agencies and the judge in their case. I support any action that would give local jurisdictions more of a voice in the decision-making regarding the placement of sexually violent predators."

The offices of Supervisors Joel Anderson and Nora Vargas stated they were unable to comment at this time.