EL CAJON, Calif. — Concerned neighbors held a rally in the Mt. Helix area of El Cajon on Tuesday, pushing back against a proposal to place two registered sex offenders near their homes and schools.
Organizers said it could happen in just a couple of weeks so they have to act now.
As could be expected, the residents in the area are upset. They carried signs, wore t-shirts and signed a petition to keep the sex offenders away from their families.
“I’m in a complete panic right now that there’s probably going to be three or four more in this house. They’re just going to pack them in,” said one of the rally's organizers, Sarah Thompson.
Thompson is just one of the dozens of concerned residents who rallied near a 3,500-square-foot home on Mt Helix. Neighbors said they recently found out that two Sexually Violent Predators, Douglas Badger and Merle Wakefield, may soon be allowed to live there.
“We live 500 feet away from this house that they’re supposedly going to house these violent predators at so we’re outraged,” said Chris Jones.
Seventy-eight-year-old Douglas Badger has a long rap sheet for sexual assault that began in the 1970s. He was convicted of child molestation, kidnapping and forcible oral copulation. Neighbors also said they were just notified about Merle Wakefield a few days ago and they don’t know his history. Liberty Healthcare is a for-profit agency that monitors sex offenders.
“I want to know how they’re going to monitor these guys and how they’re going to make sure that our neighborhood is safe,” Thompson said.
San Diego Superior Court announced the final day for public comments about Badger’s placement is Friday, April 9. Badger’s hearing will be held on the 20 and Wakefield’s hearing is scheduled in May.
News 8 asked another neighbor what she'd do if the sex offenders are allowed to move in and she said: “I’m not sure. Get some more security cameras and amp it up. I definitely won’t be too happy if I ever see them on my block.”
Organizers made it clear that they intend to continue fighting, putting pressure on the courts and Liberty Healthcare as long as it takes.
WATCH: El Cajon residents organize in opposition to sexually violent predator living in their community