You’ve Got Mail:
There’s a Sex Offender in the Neighborhood
Klein, Foley, Johnson and Community Advocates Urge Governor Paterson to Sign Bill that would Allow Residents to receive Instant E-mail Alerts when a Sex Offender moves into their Zip Code
More Than 400 Registered Sex Offenders Live in Nassau County, District 7 and Suffolk County, District 3 Combined
NEW YORK- Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Senator Brian Foley (D-Suffolk County) and Senator Craig Johnson (D-Nassau County) urged Governor Paterson to sign legislation (S1362B) into law that would create a statewide e-mail notification system, by which concerned residents could receive an alert every time a sex offender moves into their zip code.
Thanks to the statewide emergency communication system, NY Alert, which is managed by the Department of Homeland Security, it will be easy for New Yorkers to register for instant e-mail notifications. Currently, New Yorkers desiring up-to-date information on registered sex offenders in their communities must make daily searches of the Sex Offender Registry maintained by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).
There are currently 11,428 level 2-3 sex offenders on New York State's Sex Offender Registry, which classifies offenders according to their risk of re-offending: low-risk (Level 1), moderate risk (Level 2) and high-risk (Level 3). Members of the public can access this database at local police stations or via a toll-free telephone number. Level 2 and Level 3 offenders are also listed on an internet subdirectory at the DCJS website.
However, the information changes constantly as new offenders are added or existing registrants update their information. E-mail updates would allow New Yorkers to keep tabs on a specific geographic area, such as where they live or where their children attend school, and would save them the time-consuming chore of making regular visits to the subdirectory website.
“This legislation will greatly enhance our ability to notify residents of sex offenders in the community and further assist in keeping our children safe. Given these tough fiscal times, we have already transferred our sex offender notification from paper format to our website and Connect-Ed telephone messages. We thank Senator Foley, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Klein and Senator Johnson for spearheading this legislation and garnering support for it in the Senate and Assembly. The William Floyd School District joins with them in calling upon Governor Paterson to sign this bill into law,” said Dr. Paul Casciano, Superintendent of Schools for the William Floyd School District.
Klein, Foley & Johnson also released data for all registered sex offenders living in Suffolk and Nassau Counties Districts 3 and 7, broken down by zip code. Currently there are 251 known sex offenders residing in Suffolk County District 3 and 149 living in Nassau County District 7. The top ten zip codes for District 3 are as follows: 11717 (70 registered sex offenders), 11722 (46 registered sex offenders), 11951 (32 registered sex offenders), 11772 (29 registered sex offenders), 11967 (29 registered sex offenders), 11779 (22 registered sex offenders), 11763 (15 registered sex offenders), 11713 (8 registered sex offenders), 11741 (6 registered sex offenders), 11788 (6 registered sex offenders), 11730 (5 registered sex offenders). The top ten zip codes for District 7 are as follows: 11590 (25 registered sex offenders), 11003 (17 registered sex offenders), 11554 (14 registered sex offenders), 11580 (13 registered sex offenders), 11801 (12 registered sex offenders), 11552 (11 registered sex offenders), 11501 (10 registered sex offenders), 11570 (7 registered sex offenders), 11040 (6 registered sex offenders).
“Protecting our children and families is the single most important responsibility we have as elected officials,” said Senator Brian X. Foley. “Whether they’re at home, at a playground, or at school, our children need to be safeguarded from sex offenders. By allowing residents to receive email notifications about sex offenders in their neighborhoods, we can help parents ensure their children’s safety and take the necessary precautions to protect their children. On behalf of families in Suffolk County, I urge Gov. Paterson to sign this bill into law.”
“This is commonsense legislation that will be an asset to every parent in every community on Long Island and across New York State,” Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), said. “I urge Gov. Paterson to sign this vitally important legislation and help us protect our neighborhoods from dangerous sexual predators.”
In Suffolk County, an average of 142 level two and 60 level three sex offenders reside in each zip code. In Nassau County, an average of 46 level two and 21 level three sex offenders reside in each zip code. In addition, with more sex offenders subject to the 12-year-old registration requirements being released from prison every day and an increasing number of sex crimes, like sex trafficking, being added to the list of offenses requiring registration, the registry is likely to continue its expansion well into the future.
"It is vital that we continue to provide avenues for the public to be informed about sex offenders living in our communities," said Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (WFP – Shirley). "This is another layer that parents can use to keep their kids safe, but there is more to be done. I am looking forward to working with Senator Foley to include information on where sex offenders live prior to their new address and also to send notifications when they have left the neighborhood, so that residents have all the information at their disposal."
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