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El Cajon considers background checks, 90-day moratorium on new hotel vouchers

An emergency city council meeting was held on Tuesday over hotel vouchers.

EL CAJON, Calif. — Two sex offenders, who were just released from prison, were arrested again in El Cajon. The men are accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old at a motel.

A major concern for city leaders is the assistance program that led the men to that motel. One of the offenders was staying at the Motel 6 through a voucher from the PATH program. The city held an emergency city council meeting Tuesday to discuss hotel vouchers.

"We just see these incidents like we had over the last weekend and think it's just the tip of the iceberg," said City Manager Graham Mitchell.

Now the city is looking into new ways to address hotel vouchers.

PATH currently provides temporary assistance to people who are homeless or recently released from prison. The goal is help them locate permanent housing.

The city talked about requiring sex offenders, who use a hotel voucher, to report themselves within two hours. Another idea was prohibiting motels within 2,000 feet of schools or daycares to be involved in voucher programs

"Another item was looking at a 90-day moratorium of new vouchers coming into El Cajon allowing the existing people to attrition out but not accepting new ones," said Steve Goble, the Deputy Mayor in El Cajon.

The city is considering criminal background checks of participants. Hotels may be required to notify the city about the number of rooms used by vouchers and what agencies the vouchers came from.  

"We know other agencies such as the City of San Diego, City of La Mesa, Santee, the County of San Diego, the State of California. They're all using El Cajon disproportionately," Goble said.

Six recommendations were presented and action could be taken as soon as next Tuesday's city council meeting. 

WATCH RELATED: El Cajon police seek possible sexual assault victims of homeless men at motel (March 2023).


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