Sex offender sparks changes in Long Beach recreation

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The city of Long Beach is changing how it hires youth athletic directors after alleged sexual misconduct by one of its coaches.

Last month, 37-year-old Edward Scott Yancey was arrested after officials say he molested a young boy.

"As a parent I'm concerned. I want my kids to be coached by somebody that we know that we can trust," said parent Keith Hammons.

Former coach Edward Scott Yancey still sits in the Harrison County Jail after charges of molestation. The thing is, BEFORE the arrest, Yancey was already a sex offender.

"They did the local check and it didn't come up," said Hammons.

Yancey never registered as a sex offender and went on to get a job coaching a Long Beach basketball league.

Parents insist something fell through the cracks and they were upset when Recreation director Bob Paul came under fire.

"Just relying on one person is not the way that the system is supposed to work," said parent Richard Brown.

The Long Beach board of alderman ultimately decided not to take action against the popular rec director. But what has changed, is some of its policies.

Since the incident the city of Long Beach pays a firm to conduct national background searches. In the past, only local searches were completed.

Like neighboring Gulfport, the city of Long Beach will also follow the National recreation and Park Association's guidelines when selecting volunteers.

As for this case, the mayor says he hopes the city can move forward in making sure it never happens again.

Edward Yancey is still in the Harrison County Jail. His bail is set at 1-million dollars.