2009-10-02 / Top Stories

Sex Offender Alerts Available Through E-mail

A new state law has been enacted, making it easier for families to find out if a convicted sexual predator has moved into their neighborhood, Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer announced.

New Yorkers will be able to receive free automatic e-mail updates about the presence of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders in their community beginning in March 2010 (Ch. 478 of 2009). This legislation is an important tool for families to help keep their children safe.

"In the past, concerned residents, if not otherwise specifically notified, would have to check the sex offender registry for updates themselves. This law, which I sponsored, allows any New York State resident who signs up with the Division of Criminal Justice Services to receive automatic e-mail notifications when a registered sex offender moves into the neighborhood. This initiative will help protect our communities through increased awareness," said Pheffer.

The law provides residents with an additional means to acquire information about registered Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders who reside in their communities. Residents will be able to request e-mail updates for up to three counties or ZIP codes, and the service will be free of charge.

E-mail notifications allow families to keep tabs on sex offenders who live in their communities in a convenient and hassle-free way. Giving families more information about sex offenders in the area helps keep their children safe.

The law builds on the Assembly's record of keeping New York's families safe which has included legislation such as:

• Luring Law — Creates the crime of luring a child into a motor vehicle, building or isolated area with the intent of committing any violent felony or felony sex offense - luring a child is a class E felony (Ch. 405 of 2008). • Revoking licenses of teachers guilty of sex crimes — Provides for the automatic revocation of a teaching license or certificate held by any teacher - including teaching assistants, school counselors, social workers, psychologists, school administrators, supervisors or superintendents of schools - convicted of a sex offense (Ch. 296 of 2008).

• e-STOP — The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act prevents sexual predators from victimizing children on Internet social networking sites by prohibiting sex offenders from using the Internet for inappropriate reasons (Ch. 67 of 2008). • Further Strengthening Megan's Law — As part of its continued commitment to improve and strengthen the Sex Offender Registration Act (Megan's Law) initially enacted in 1995, this law requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to expand the sex offender Internet posting to include Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders (Ch.106 of 2006).

"These bills work to keep sex offenders from preying on victims and build on the Assembly's longstanding commitment to protect children from dangerous sexual predators. I will continue fighting for new ways to protect children from sexual predators," said Pheffer.

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