REPS BACK GROUPS’ CRIME DATA ACCESS
Newsday/Reid J. Epstein
Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Peter King said Parents for Megan's Law andsimilar organizations should have the same access to federal criminal data as law enforcementagencies. Schumer said he would introduce legislation to allow the Stony Brook-basednonprofit organization to have real-time access to the National Crime Information Center, anFBI-administered index of criminal justice information known as NCIC. Schumer said Parentsfor Megan's Law, with access to the federal criminal database, could help law enforcement agenciestrack convicted sex offenders. Why should there be this wall? Schumer said. It makesno sense whatsoever. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, saidpolice departments do not have adequate financial means to chase leads and tips that are calledinto her group. The Stony Brook organization has access only to available public records,which can be time-consuming to cull, she said. Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarcoendorsed Schumer's bill, saying it would help to have groups like Ahearn's investigate cases beforeresorting to law enforcement. And tapping into the NCIC, Ahearn said, would speed up theprocess by which her organization can track convicted sex offenders. All we are asking forare the tools we need to get the job done, she said.