TASK FORCE EYES SEX OFFENDERS (New York legislative group meets in Merrick to discuss some possible solutions regarding residency restrictions)
As towns and villages across Long Island grapple with residency restrictions for sex offenders, a statewide Assembly task force came to Merrick yesterday seeking solutions from police, prosecutors and child advocates on the issue. Stricter sentences for convicted sex offenders and better supervision of them after they leave jail could be part of the legislative agenda in coming years. Among the concerns are the regulations and restrictions imposed by local municipalities on Long Island on where sex offenders can live once they leave prison. Municipalities have to be careful, said Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, because too many restrictions can void an entire law. If we create zones that are exclusionary with no place within an entire county that they can live, that law will be overturned and we will lose every protection we fought so hard to have, she said.