Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman recently announced that trailers designated for homeless sex offenders in Riverside and Westhampton have officially been padlocked and their previous tenants have been moved around Suffolk County.
Originally the program was intended to keep offenders in trailers with no more than eight residents and for no more than three weeks. The areas were not meant to be populated or near schools, playgrounds or anyone who the offenders have a wrongdoing against, in accordance with Suffolk County law.
Michael Pitcher, a spokesman for the legislator noted the offenders are being housed in accordance with the Community Protection Act, a policy adopted several months ago. A part of Megan’s Law, the Community Protection Act helps police monitor where sex offenders are being housed.
“County laws were certainly complied,” said Pitcher.
Schneiderman was motivated by his children stating, “As the father of two kids, I always approached the
positions as ‘What if these trailers were near where my kids were sleeping?'” He has been working on moving sex offender housing for the past six years.
Schneiderman worked with County Executive Steve Bellone to move the homeless sex offenders. Bellone spoke at a press conference on Friday, May 17, about his plans to shut down the trailers.
“I think they’ve been spread throughout the county,” Pitcher said. “They are in motels, county homeless shelters…”
According to a press release from Schneiderman’s office, the county is looking to move the trailers in Riverside and Westhampton.
“It was a tremendous sense of relief,” Schneiderman said of the six years he worked to move the sexual offenders out of the Westhampton and Riverside trailers. “You reach a point where you become skeptical of promises. This one was actually fulfilled.”