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Crime & Cases July 2, 2009  RSS feed

E-Mail System Would Alert Area Residents To Sexual Predators

Citizens Would Receive Regular Updates
by Robert Pozarycki

The New York State Assembly has passed legislation that would create an electronic system to inform New Yorkers of serious sexual offenders living in their communities.

The bill, known as A.1242-B, would allow interested residents of the state to receive regular e-mails from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services notifying them about the presence of individuals registered as Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders living locally.

According to Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, interested residents would be able to sign up for the free service and receive information on convicted offenders for up to three counties or ZIP codes.

Presently, anyone who wants to find out about sexual predators in the community would need to search on their own either through the registry website or at their local police precinct.

"E-mail notifications would allow families to keep tabs on sex offenders who live in Queens in a convenient and hassle-free way," said Pheffer. "Giving families more information about sex offenders in their community will enable them to have the information they need to help keep their children safe."

The bill that passed the Assembly last Monday was previously passed by the State Senate after being introduced by Sen. Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx.

In May, his office published a report which listed the 10 ZIP codes in New York City where the most sexual offenders reside. Among the areas on the list were 11207 and 11221 (Bushwick and Bedford- Stuyvesant).

According to the May report, there were nearly 1,200 Level 2 and Level 3 criminals living in New York City, including 531 in Queens. Excluding the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, approximately 160 sex criminals were residing in neighborhoods within the Times Newsweekly coverage area.

The bill must now be signed by Gov. David Paterson in order to become law. If signed, the legislation would take effect 60 days after the governor's approval.