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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Safe house for children
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 35
§ 837-k. Safe house for children. 1. Within one hundred twenty days
after the effective date of this section, the division shall design and
adopt an official symbol and sign which may use McGruff as created by
the national crime prevention council if practicable, to be used to
designate homes and businesses where a child may seek temporary help
when he or she is traveling, without adult supervision or protection, in
neighborhoods having such homes or businesses.

2. a. Law enforcement agencies:

(i) may voluntarily provide symbols to persons who apply for them;

(ii) may require that persons receiving symbols apply in writing and
agree in writing to specific terms and conditions in order to
participate in the program;

(iii) shall develop community based selection procedures to assure the
suitability of the persons and location which are the subjects of an
application prior to issuing symbols after conducting a background
check, including, but not limited to, information available in its
jurisdiction, and inquiry of the department of social services register
of child abuse and maltreatment regarding the applicant and any persons
residing at the location. Until such procedures are developed and
implemented, law enforcement agencies may access records of the division
maintained pursuant to section eight hundred thirty-seven of this

(iv) shall maintain a register of locations using the official, sign
or symbol and any other known locations using other symbols for similar
purposes pursuant to subdivision five of this section;

(v) shall make efforts, themselves or through arrangements with school
districts, not-for-profits, or other organizations, to educate children
to recognize the correct symbol and the program.

b. For purposes of this subdivision:

(i) the term "law enforcement agency" shall mean any agency or
department of any municipality or any police district employing a police
officer or police officers as that term is defined in paragraphs (b) and
(d) of subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure
law; and

(ii) the symbols provided by law enforcement agencies for purposes of
this program are the property of said agency.

3. Persons who are issued a symbol by a law enforcement agency shall:

a. display it or any related or similar symbol or sign that is visible
from the outside of their building only upon such terms and conditions
as may be specified by the law enforcement agency; and

b. return said symbol to the law enforcement agency immediately upon
demand therefor by said agency.

4. a. Any person who possesses, uses, or duplicates the symbol or sign
created pursuant to subdivision one of this section, or any symbol
authorized for use pursuant to subdivision two of this section, without
complying with the provisions of this section shall be liable for a
civil fine of fifty dollars.

b. Possession, use or duplication of the symbol or sign created
pursuant to subdivision one of this section, or any symbol authorized
for use pursuant to subdivision two of this section, with the intent to
attract children into the location for any purpose other than protecting
them when they are threatened is a misdemeanor.

c. No symbol except the symbol authorized in subdivisions one or five
of this section shall be used to designate a safe house.

5. Children's safe haven/safe home programs existing on the effective
date of this section may continue to use the same symbol on existing or
new locations and expand service areas using symbols in use on such