You’ve Got Mail: There’s A Sex Offender In The Neighborhood

Jeffrey D. Klein

March 21, 2008

Release Top Ten NYC Zip Codes with Sex Offenders

3,260 Sex Offenders Living in NYC, Registering at a Rate of 1/Day

NEW YORK- Almost a year to date after New York’s Civil Confinement legislation was signed into law, Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) called on the state to finally adopt a measure proposed by Klein two years ago allowing concerned parents and neighbors to receive instant email alerts every time a sex offender moves into their selected zip code. With the recent unveiling of a new statewide emergency communication system, NY Alert, by the Department of Homeland Security, it would now be even easier 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 26,000 individuals on New York’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.

"The numbers are overwhelming. All the more so when you consider that more and more families with young children are choosing to stay in New York City and raise their families. It would be near criminal to deny New Yorkers the added convenience of better protecting our children from the kind of unsavory individuals who are, in many cases, our neighbors" said Senator Klein.

The lawmakers released a report with 2008 data for all registered sex offenders living in the 5 boroughs, broken down by zip code. Of the 3,260 known sex offenders residing in New York City, 133 live in Staten Island, 683 live in Brooklyn, 232 live in Manhattan, 531 live in the Bronx, and 204 in Queens.

"New Yorkers are already able to get notification of traffic delays, storm warnings and other important information from government agencies through the NY-Alert system. The cost to merge this information into NY-Alert and notify New York parents when sex offenders move into their neighborhood is negligible, and the benefit is self-evident. This system will be an important tool for parents to protect their children," added Assemblyman Lancman.