At the request of the Ulster County Legislature, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) has introduced legislation (S.2022) in the State Senate that would enact a uniform set of notification procedures for the state’s police agencies in their efforts to notify the community when a Level 3 sex offender lives or works nearby.
The bill establishes that notification must also be given about where the sexual offender is working in the community, not just where that individual is residing.
It also mandates that a sexual offender must notify the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) when there is a change of place of employment.
Under current law, there is no uniform set of notification standards that local police agencies must follow when ascertaining the risk of a Level 3 sex offender in the community and which residents should be notified.
"Without a uniform set of guidelines, some police agencies are unintentionally providing inadequate notification to those within the community who face a significantly heightened risk because a convicted sex offender lives or works nearby," said Senator Larkin. "At the same time, some police agencies are providing too much notification to areas that face little or no risk. It’s confusing. This bill will assist police agencies, in cooperation with Mental Health experts, Children and Family Services, the State Parole Board, and Probation, in crafting the most appropriate notification program that warns those who need to be aware without unnecessarily alarming those who are not considered to be at risk."
Ulster County Legislator, Frank Dart, said, "Sex offenders in Ulster County are a growing problem. I am glad to see that state officials are responding to the needs of the residents of Ulster County and applaud Senator Larkin for introducing this legislation."