Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Huntington tracks sexual predators breaking town law


Huntington officials next week will be touting the success of an interactive map on the town Web site that pinpoints where sexual predators live within the community.

On Tuesday officials will discuss how the map recently revealed that six level 2 and level 3 sexual predators were violating town law by living within a specified radius of restricted areas.

Town law prohibits convicted sex offenders required to register with the state under Megan's Law from living near sensitive areas which include schools, parks, and day care centers, churches, synagogues and mosques.

The town's public safety department recently identified the predator living within 1,320 feet of Birchwood Elementary School in South Huntington, officials said.

Notice was given to the person to relocate within 45 days. The predator obliged and relocated and re-registered in Pennsylvania.

Board member Stuart Besen who sponsored the sex predator legislation last year, will demonstrate how the map is being used as an enforcement tool in identifying, tracking and ultimately removing sexual predators from the town's sensitive areas.

The news conference will take place at 11:30 a.m. at town hall, 100 Main Street.

"One of the primary reasons we are making this announcement," Besen said Friday, "is because unfortunately people usually only hear when government doesn't work. In this case government is working because of the tough legislation and even more importantly then tough legislation is the enforcement tool and that is the map, which ... ultimately helps us remove the predator."

Currently five additional notices for relocation have been sent to new postings of violators living in sensitive areas within the town.

To view the map, go to town.huntington.ny.us/permit_pics/644.pdf.

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