Newsday/Cynthia Daniels

The Huntington Town Board last night unanimously approved a new law designed to protect childrenby limiting how close sex offenders can live to schools, parks and playgrounds. The legislation,sponsored by Republican Councilman Mark Capodanno, would bar registered sex offenders who establishresidence in the town after October 31 from living within 1,000 feet of a school and 500 feet of apark or playground. Violators would face a town summons and a fine, ranging from $250 to $2,500,per offense. The last thing I want is for [this law] to give any kind of false sense of security,Capodanno said. This is just one aspect of preventing abuse. Kim Talman, state chairwoman for theNational Association to Protect Children, said the legislation will let sex offenders alreadyliving near schools and parks remain there, and allow those who have not registered to goundetected by the town. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, said 18 stateshave enacted laws limiting where registered sex offenders can live. She agreed that residencyrestrictions will not eliminate abuse, but said they can help. Community and registered sexoffenders are crying out for guidance on what restrictions should be, Ahearn said. At this point,we can have convicted sex offenders move in across the street from a school and there's nothingstopping it.

(New York)