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9 sex offenders living together legally on Northside

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Updated: 6/28/2013 7:39 pm
JACKSONVILLE Fla. -- Blinds are drawn, there are no signs of anyone home, but records Action News obtained show 9 sex offenders live at 9768 New Berlin Road.

About a mile down the road children play in the neighborhood where parents say they are now filled with fear.

"I have kids here and I don't let them outside unless I'm with them," said a neighbor who didn't want to reveal her identity.

"I've seen them riding their bicycles down the street," she said.

She says her concerns have only grown since police arrested sex offender Donald Smith, and charged him with the killing of little Cherish Perrywinkle.

"I don't think they should be allowed to all be there," she said.

JSO says its completely legal for the offenders to live together.

"There's nothing that the state has given us to enforce group homes," said JSO spokesperson Shannon Hartley.

When Action News asked why, JSO said we'd have to ask our legislators.

Hartley said with more than 1,700 sex offenders like Donald Smith in Duval, law enforcement could use more tools to keep tabs on them.

"We have to work through the constraints of the state laws," he said.

That's little comfort for parents down New Berlin Road who worry about their children.

"There's a lot of bad people like that and they say once they've been like that they're never cured," said the grandmother.

There are at least three ZIP codes with more than 50 sex offenders and predators in Duval County.

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