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Sep 23, 2009 3:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County is considering other locations for sex offender trailers

Sep 23, 2009 3:05 PM

Some of Suffolk County’s homeless sex offenders now staying in trailers in Riverside and Westhampton could soon be relocated to similar facilities in the western part of the county, according to Riverhead Town officials.

The county has plans to set up at least six homeless sex offender trailers in western Suffolk, Riverhead Town Supervisor Phil Cardinale said on Monday. As of right now, two trailers—one located in the parking lot of the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside, and a second located near the Suffolk County Police shooting range on Old Country Road in Westhampton—house all of the registered homeless sex offenders in the county, accommodating close to 30 offenders every night.

Gregory Blass, the commissioner for the Department of Social Services, on Tuesday would not confirm or deny Mr. Cardinale’s statement. In an e-mail, Mr. Blass would say only that county officials are exploring the possibility. His department oversees the trailers and is responsible for providing temporary shelter for the county’s homeless sex offender population.

On Wednesday afternoon, Roland Hampson, a spokesman for Mr. Blass, said Mr. Cardinale’s statement “is not factual.” Mr. Hampson said the county is not investigating six potential sites in western Suffolk.

Mr. Hampson, however, said he could not say how many sites that the county is now investigating in western Suffolk County. He then added that the sites being investigated are located in industrial areas.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cardinale said he was under the impression that the facts contained in his original statement were accurate. The Riverhead supervisor is quoted as follows in the release: “The county is reviewing six additional sites in western Suffolk County with the goal of choosing several of them.”

Even if it does add new trailers in western Suffolk, the county has no plans to relocate the shelters in Riverside and Westhampton, Mr. Cardinale said. Instead, the new shelters will be used to more evenly distribute the homeless sex offenders.

“[The county] has acknowledged the concentration is unwise and unfair,” Mr. Cardinale said.

In September 2007, Suffolk officials replaced a trailer, which could accommodate up to 10 offenders, at the Riverside jail with a trailer that could house as many as 20 people. Another trailer, which can accommodate eight offenders and is designed to handle overflow from the Riverside trailer, was placed on Old Country Road in Westhampton.

Two years ago, Suffolk officials said the trailers would be rotated every few months to other county-owned properties. Officials later reneged on that deal, arguing that the county jail is the best place to house the offenders because security guards can monitor the trailers overnight.

The county is limited in where it can place the trailers because law prohibits convicted sex offenders from living in areas where children congregate, including near schools and playgrounds, Mr. Hampson said.

“This problem is exacerbated because local legislation has made virtually every potential location off-limits,” Mr. Blass said.

Southampton and Riverhead town residents and officials were upset with Suffolk County’s decision not to rotate the trailers. Some have argued that the trailers in Riverside and Westhampton should house only homeless sex offenders who previously lived in Southampton and Riverhead towns.

The New York State Supreme Court on August 31 denied Suffolk County’s request that a lawsuit filed in March by Riverhead Town be dismissed. The suit demands that the county move the Riverside trailer.

According to the lawsuit, Riverhead Town officials say that the Riverside trailer is too close to a town-owned park and the Riverhead Free Library, violating state and county law. Southampton Town joined the lawsuit, which demands that the county move the Riverside trailer.

Suffolk County law mandates that sex offenders on probation or parole stay at least 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds and parks. State law prohibits the placement of sex offenders in close proximity to vulnerable populations, Mr. Cardinale said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, the county has housed a number of homeless sex offenders within a quarter mile of George Schmelzer Park on Route 25, in close proximity to the Riverhead Free Library and elementary schools,” he said.

Mr. Cardinale believes the two sides will settle before the lawsuit goes to trial.

All registered homeless sex offenders can stay in the trailers. The Department of Social Services also puts up offenders in western Suffolk motels if there are too many people to accommodate in the two trailers. County officials have previously said that level 3 offenders, those most likely to re-commit a crime, would not be placed in the motels.

The two county trailers are guarded by three security staff members, Mr. Hampson said. Sex offenders must check into the trailers by 8 p.m. each night. The offenders are transported to their hometowns to bathe or to receive other services at 7:30 a.m. each day. That policy prevents the offenders from roaming the streets in the nearby community, county officials have said.

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I think we should deport them to Vietnam, or Thailand... or maybe establish a walled, guarded "sex offender nudist colony" in upstate New York. (they could use the economic boost up there)
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 09 2:18 PM
In at 8Pm and out by 7:30AM.
Do you know how they transport these horrific people?
A: by taxi, that us tax payers pay for.
I think they should be put away in a seperate jail and never let out. It is obvious to me, these monsters WILL DO IT AGIAN!
I think all the politicians should take a salary cut and pay to house these monsters in a seperate jail, if they are homeless, stay in jail!
By beach lover (2), smithpoint on Sep 24, 09 7:40 AM
Put them in jail where they can experience what it feels like to be at the mercy of someone else's sexual demands............by the way, is chemical castration still a viable solution? or is that against their 'rights'?
By MaryMac (43), Riverhead on Sep 24, 09 9:53 AM
castrate them and move them to iraq for target practice
By pinga (90), hamptonbays on Sep 24, 09 10:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm sorry but I cannot find it in me to feel remorseful for child molesters. They should not be let out of jail or we should have seperate facilities to house them in. I'm sure that most tax payers would agree that would be money well spent!!!!!
By limom3 (6), ronkonkoma on Sep 24, 09 1:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Is this the same place where years ago a Babylon scuba diving class held their certification classes?? If it was then OMG!
By limom3 (6), ronkonkoma on Sep 24, 09 1:09 PM
I'm sorry but I cannot find it in me to feel remorseful for child molesters. They should not be let out of jail or we should have seperate facilities to house them in. I'm sure that most tax payers would agree that would be money well spent!!!!!
By limom3 (6), ronkonkoma on Sep 24, 09 1:10 PM
I'm thinking yearrounder would like to house these folks in her basement. she is a most charitable person, it sounds like.
By hamptons surfer (79), southampton on Sep 25, 09 11:03 AM
Qaddafi's tent on The Donald's Bedford property would be appropriate. Let them follow the Bedouin from country to country spreading cheer to all of the Arab world which supports the Libyan terrorist's goals of wiping out all Christians and Jews.

It is these sex offenders who do not deserve a homeland.
By Remsenburger (11), Remsenburg on Sep 25, 09 12:22 PM
Keep in mind, not all level 1 offenders are "monsters". Some people get put on for consensual teen sex (if both are same age), and even pissing in a bush. The laws go too far and don't punish the right people. The real sickos need to be moved off onto a small island with no life on it and let them fend for themselves.
By dmarescajr (2), Shirley on Oct 2, 09 3:50 AM
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