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Probation office with sex offenders, opens next to elementary school

A probation office with registered sex offenders opened in August next to the Presumpscot Elementary School in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland resident, David Hopkinson, is upset after a probation office with registered sex offenders opened right next to his children's school.

The Maine Department of Corrections (D.O.C.) says the facility opened next to the Presumpscot Elementary School at the beginning of August. 

The probation office treats more than 300 people, 60 of which are sex offenders.

The facility overlooks the school's playground.

"They can see children from their building, as the drive by, as they walk by if their coming from the bus in both directions," said Hopkinson.

Hopkinson is on the board of the Presumpscot Family Council. He says he and other parents were not notified about this happening, and says when they were- they were misinformed. 

The D.O.C says they want to be good neighbors and understand where parents are coming from. Starting in October, sex offenders will no longer receive treatment there, but they will still have to report there for probation purposes. Black netting will be put up to block the view.

Though, Hopkinson says that's not good enough.

"It does not change the fact that there are registered sex offenders required to come to the building," said Hopkinson. 

The D.O.C says they spent many months searching for a new location. They chose this one because there was already a building in the complex treating juveniles. They have other offices next to churches and schools. 

They say there is no law in Maine about how far a facility has to be from a building.

Hopkinson plans to meet with the department in hopes they see something bad could happen.

"As a dad, my number one job is to ensure my kids are safe, everywhere that they go. It's a difficult thing to drop them off at a location and trust they will be completely safe," said Hopkinson.