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May 29, 2013 11:17 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sex Offender Trailers Shuttered, Remain On Site

May 29, 2013 12:32 PM
The two trailers in Southampton Town that have housed homeless convicted sex offenders after their release from custody for the past six years were shuttered and padlocked on Monday, though they remain in Riverside and Westhampton awaiting permanent removal.

The news came as a relief to town officials, community leaders and residents who vehemently opposed the trailer program since its inception under former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy in 2007. The town has hosted both trailers, serving the entire county, during that time.

“It is a relief, and we’re very happy,” said Stephanie Canale, a resident of Westhampton Pines, the senior complex that is often brimming with grandchildren and sits just feet from the trailer off Old Country Road. “We do realize that they need a home, but I don’t think that is our problem. That’s up to the county find them the right place to live.”

The county relocated approximately 26 homeless convicted sex offenders from the trailers as of Monday, according to Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokesperson for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. The individuals were placed in shelters across Suffolk County, away from families and children, and with no more than one per site.

Though county officials did not share the exact locations of the shelters, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said he did not think there was more than one—if any at all—in Southampton Town.

The trailers—one located at the Suffolk County Police shooting range off Old Country Road in Westhampton, and the other adjacent to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside—will be removed, Ms. Baird-Streeter said, though she could not share an exact date or timeline. She added that security will remain at the trailers for about two weeks.

“It’s not done until they’re gone,” Brad Bender, a director of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association said on Tuesday, adding that his organization has worked hard for years to get the trailers closed. “We’ve testified, we’ve held signs—we’ve done just about everything we could.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he is pushing for the trailers to be towed from both sites as quickly as possible to remove any possibility of individuals being relocated there in the future. “I don’t want to even have it out there as a possibility,” he said. “I don’t want it to be an option.”

Mr. Bellone had promised last May to close the trailers by January, but he missed that deadline. In February, he proposed legislation called the Community Protection Act, which established a rigorous monitoring system to keep track of the county’s roughly 1,000 convicted sex offenders who have been released from prison, and promised to relocate the homeless offenders from the trailers. Suffolk County legislators unanimously approved the legislation without legislative hearings because it was introduced as an emergency measure.

The Community Protection Act also awards a $2.3 million contract to Parents For Megan’s Law, a nonprofit organization charged with ensuring that the sex offenders comply with state laws that require them to register and report their address and workplace. Mr. Bellone announced last week that eight offenders had been arrested since the program’s implementation.

“This has been a long-awaited resolution to an issue that has burdened this town so unfairly,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said on Saturday, May 25, a day after Mr. Bellone announced that the trailers would close over the weekend.

“There have been so many promises along the way—good intentions that weren’t delivered for various reasons or unanticipated hurdles,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I’m so relieved that it’s finally over.”

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I find this as extremely interesting timing. Does anyone else find it more than coincidental that this latest plan to finally move the sex offenders comes at the same time Schneiderman has a real race on his hands against Nuzzi? This was literally announced on the same day Nuzzi received the nomination. It's just sad and pathetic that Schneiderman and the county bosses waited until it was politically advantageous to address this issue!!
By hb guy (17), Hampton Bays on May 25, 13 1:21 PM
> "waited until it was politically advantageous to address this issue"

Oh grow up!

First, of course there are political considerations -- they are all elected officials, and the single largest objective of ANY elected official, no matter why he decided to stand for election in the first place, is to get re-elected!

Second, you act like one of the trailers was in your backyard -- it isn't, but is is mine!

Upon personal observation, no one in the Suffolk Legislature ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 26, 13 2:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have not understood why we are paying for the housing of child predators.Hard working people in this county cant even pay their bills and we are giving money to these derelicts. This country needs to get its priorities and morals back into check, and stop rewarding the garbage of society.I'm sure we are paying for these people because of the liberal aclu and their nonsense.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 25, 13 2:14 PM
3 members liked this comment
Thank you Mr SCHNEIDER,you are a man of your word.You have my vote,
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on May 26, 13 7:54 AM
Schneider?

from one day at a time?
By C Law (354), Water Mill on May 26, 13 9:47 PM
Typo,its Mr Schneiderman,
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on May 26, 13 7:56 AM
Too bad it took him 7 years to keep his word. Give me a break.
By hb guy (17), Hampton Bays on May 26, 13 9:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Biba (566), East Hampton on May 27, 13 9:38 AM
Still there, ready to be utilized at a moment's notice if Bellone ever signs a Certificate of Necessity.

Take them away!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 29, 13 3:14 AM
Haha...Schneiderman goes 7 years without doing anything but whining and passing the responsibility on to others, then gets a worthy opponent and acts in a matter of weeks? There's no reading into this - it's plain and simple: Jay does nothing with difficult issues unless he needs to. He'd rather work on crosswalks and traffic lights (both important things too, just much easier). He's a joke.
By getalife (61), Southampton on Jun 3, 13 11:03 AM
Those trailers will be closed to election day then it is anyone's guess what happens.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 3, 13 9:12 PM
Whine, whine, whine! Give you guys ice cream, and you'd probably say noooo, the cow took too long to give the milk, or the cow might stop giving milk tomorrow, or the cow might decide to jump over the moon. Hey, it's ice cream -- enjoy, don't complain.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 6, 13 12:27 PM