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Sex Offender Trailers Still Parked in Westhampton, Riverside

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman is waiting on Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to move forward with long-term solution.

After years of controversy, two trailers set up by Suffolk County to house homeless sex offenders are still parked in Westhampton and Riverside.

In Westhampton, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneideman says that plans to set the trailer farther back on the property, almost 2000 feet from where it was formerly situated, have been realized.

The trailer, Schneiderman said, is a newer model and has required showers, which increase the size of the unit; the number of homeless sex offenders housed inside overnight, he added, has not increased from eight.

The old trailer, Schneiderman said, is being used for storage.

But this week, Schneiderman said he is still waiting for word about a plan to create a number of residences for the homeless sex offenders, which would be placed in various communities throughout Suffolk County.

Schneiderman said plans are at a standstill regarding Community Housing Innovations, the organization that is slated to begin constructing the new homeless sex offender housing.

"Right now it's in hands of the administration to meet their own deadline at the end of year," Schneiderman said. CHI, he said, has still not signed a contract. "I'm trying to find out what the holdup is," he said. Once the contract is signed, CHI can move forward, he said.

"It's something I'm watching," Schneiderman said. "I'm certainly hoping the County Executive is taking the necessary steps to make sure that both trailers are decommissioned by the end of the year."

In May,  commitment to abolish the homeless sex offender trailer program.

Bellone outlined the future of the program, which has outraged residents for years, since the two trailers were sited at locations in Riverside and Westhampton in 2007, and pledged that the trailers would be closed by the end of the year.

Among the interim measures Bellone announced, which were suggested by Schneiderman, were a plan to move the Westhampton trailer back, farther from a residential neighborhood.

Plans were also unveiled to erect a fence around the trailers, provide two security guards at each site, and install video surveillance cameras.

Schneiderman asked that local police be provided with a daily log of individuals spending the night in each trailer. 

Bellone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shana Rowan June 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is what we get for demanding feel-good laws without any regard for the disastrous unintended results. Not that it's any surprise, as LI is Skelos territory and when it comes to sex offenders he'll milk the public for as much as he can get. How much money is being wasted on this debacle? How much will it cost to clean up the mess that could have been avoided with planning and using facts to create public policy, rather than emotion? The sooner we admit that the registry and the hysteria it's created is an abysmal failure, the sooner we can work on logical, effective solutions to sex crime. Anyone who believes the registry has done any bit of good - PROVE IT! In the meantime check out "Does a Watched Pot Boil? A Time Series Analysis of New York's Sex Offender Registry" by Dr. Jeffrey Sandler PhD.

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