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Sex Offender Trailer Legislation May Have to Wait, Again

Initially scheduled for discussion at Tuesday's Suffolk County Legislature meeting, the resolution may be tabled due to massive county layoffs proposed.

Residents outraged about two homeless sex offender trailers parked in Riverside and Westhampton Beach might have to wait even longer for some action.

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman initially said in early April that he had a resolution on the agenda for a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in Riverhead on Tuesday, April 24 . If the measure was approved, that trailer could be closed in 60 days, he said.

Schneiderman says he has received no support from his colleagues, save North Fork Legislator Ed Romaine, to close the Riverside trailer, because they believe it is in a secure location near the jail.

But on Monday night, both Schneiderman and Romaine said it was unlikely the homeless sex offender item would see the light of day on Tuesday's Legislature agenda, due to the dramatic layoffs of approximately 400 or more county employees expected to be discussed.

The resolution regarding the homeless sex offender trailers was likely to be tabled, Schneiderman said.

Romaine said he expected the Legislature to be "overwhelmed" by the number of layoffs proposed. The Legislature is facing its last chance to accept the lower number of layoffs, he said; should the measure be rejected, County Executive Steve Bellone could move for even more postions to be excised. "There's going to be a lot of drama there," Romaine said.

A wide swath of cuts could impact departments including the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, which runs the homeless sex offender trailer program.

On Tuesday, Bill Faulk, an aide to Romaine, said at first blush, it seems as though the layoffs in the Suffolk County Department of Social Services appear to only impact security guards at DSS offices. The homeless sex offender trailers are guarded by private security, he said.

No department would be safe under the proposed "massive" layoffs, Romaine said, including child protective services and other critical county programs. "Everything will be affected," he said. "It will slow down the county."

 

Shana Rowan April 24, 2012 at 08:22 PM
What is the alternative? If no one will hire these men, and therefore they cannot afford to pay for housing, where are they supposed to go? Unfortunately, this issue is not uncommon - AND it could have been avoided. If our post-release restrictions on sex offenders were not so severe, and the public was aware of how little a risk registrants actually pose in the community, there would be no need for a homeless trailer at all. Hate to say it, but this is exactly what society gets for being intolerant and unwilling to consider the consequences of knee-jerk, feel good legislation.
razor April 25, 2012 at 01:45 PM
There are different levels of sex offenders and that's what needs to be clarified and addressed. Levels 2 and 3 are at a higher risk for reoffending and their offenses are much more henious than level 1 offenses. In addition, these are HOMELESS sex offenders, not those who have stable lives. The county is trying to not only address pubic safety but also to create emergency housing for these homeless individuals that would be much more humane and productive than what they are experiencing in the trailers. Yes, legislation may be at times knee jerk reactions but all the rational facts should be presented, not just the ones that support your point.

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