Author-activist Barbara Farris is a self proclaimed vigilante and her latest mission is raising quite a few eyebrows in Orange County, FL. Farris and her group Bee Aware are shelling out $14,000 dollars of their own money to install 5 surveillance cameras at the Lake Shore Village Mobile Home Park off of N. Orange Blossom Trace, with permission from the owner of the park.
So what has Farris and the property owner so concerned about security that they’re willing to potentially infringe on Lake Shore Villagers’ right to privacy? Mostly it’s because, according to WFTV, there are over 100 sex offenders that call Lake Shore their home. That was not a typo, I did not accidentally add a zero, that is over ONE-HUNDRED sex offenders living in one mobile home park!
I did a little digging on Farris and her organization Bee Aware but I wasn’t able to find much. Here is a grainy image of Barbara:
Farris has written a book called Lies Behind The Pulpit. The description of the book provides a background of abuse that does shine a light on Farris’ passion for hounding sex offenders. The description says:
Have you ever tried really hard to remember events from your childhood? For most that is normal, but for Barbara Farris, that’s the last thing she wants to do. Memories equal pain and pain equals a long struggle to find peace. Though a successful and strong-minded business woman today; it came through work and perseverance, not through strong family support. This book is one woman’s account of a life of uphill battles and the ongoing process of learning to let go, while continuing to push forward. Barbara details her childhood as the daughter of a Minister who was married to another Minister. She recalls dreams of becoming a lawyer so she could put away criminals. She shares her decision to walk away from abuse, forcing her to drop out of school and leave home at 17. She shares many experiences where she allowed others to take advantage of her along life’s road, because she wanted so desperately to trust again. Through her book Barbara attempts to reach out to parents who might opt to turn their head to abuse of their children, for the sake of pride or reputation. She reminds parents that child abuse or the condoning of child abuse is unacceptable, unjustifiable and more likely than not – unforgivable.
The organization she has founded called Bee Aware has a MySpace page that claims to assist parents and citizens in protecting their children, but there has not been a page log-in since September of 2009. On the page there is a dead link to their website www.beeaware.org. Though the website is no longer there, I was able to find the following Bee Aware presentation video on YouTube:
Bee Aware Presentation:
In regards to the installation of the surveillance cameras Farris stated:
“If their probation, it says no contact with children, then there’s no contact with children, and we got it on camera.”
She will have access to a live feed from the cameras, as will local police and probation officers. The camera idea followed an original attempt by Farris to have a licensed daycare built close enough to have the law force the sex offenders to move.
In a report filed by WKMG Local 6 back in 2006 Lake Shore was in the news because sex offender resident Randy Young was recruiting other sex offenders to come and live in the park. Young and an assistant had manged to place over 25 sex offenders into the park in just a matter of weeks. He was later forced to stop his recruitment.
And now for what may be the most incredible part of this story. I researched the property and was able to find the official property information via the Orange County Property Appraiser website. Here is a screenshot from that page with a particular area highlighted:
What that land use table is telling you is that there is 76 units for a mobile home to be placed on and 6 units for multi-family dwellings. The 9520 Land Use Code is for the bordering lake. Best case scenario lets say we have 76 mobile homes (this would mean a home currently on every single lot) and 6 duplexes for a high-end estimate of 88 homes. Remember, it has been reported that there are over 100 sex offenders living in Lake Shore, so to be as conservative as possible I will set that number at 101.
This would mean that, with an extremely conservative estimate, there is an average of 1.148 sex offenders per home! [101 (sex offenders) / 88 (homes)]. That is one of the most incredible and disturbing statistics I have ever seen!
Considering that shocking number it is understandable that someone like Farris would be motivated to keep an eye out on the park. Is this action defensible or is it a violation of civil liberty? How do you feel about Barbara and the authorities having the right to view residents of Lake Shore Village via surveillance cameras?