EDITORIAL: SHELTER PLAN IS BETTER FOR SEX OFFENDERS
Housing homeless sex offenders in Suffolk County's shelter system -- but away from homelessfamilies -- and more intensely monitoring all registered sex offenders, is a plan that couldfinally solve a problem that has bedeviled the county for years. The Suffolk legislatureshould approve the proposal, which would allow Suffolk to close trailers in Westhampton andRiverside currently housing 38 homeless offenders, and avoid clustering the men in any othercommunities. Rather than continuing to lavish time, attention and resources on the fewoffenders who are homeless, the plan developed by Suffolk County police would shift the focus toall 1,016 registered sex offenders living in the county. It would require police to make regularchecks to ensure each of those offenders is actually living where he says he is, and also reportswhere he works. Parents for Megan's Law, a nonprofit organization working to prevent thesexual abuse of children, would help with address verification, community education and alsoprovide a smartphone app that residents could use to report offenders who violate registrationrules. It's a better approach than the $4-million proposal for six mini-shelters that incitedopposition from residents concerned about where they'd be built. Suffolk legislators shouldembrace this rational solution to the vexing problem.
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