SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY – (February 27, 2015) – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by members of the Suffolk County Legislature, Suffolk County Police Department and Parents for Megan’s Law to announce the status of the County’s Community Protection Act (CPA) in the aftermath of the recent state Court of Appeals decision that repeals local residency restriction laws for sex offenders. The CPA, which was implemented in 2013, was the nation’s first public-private partnership to help protect residents against sexual violence.
“Sexual violence knows no boundaries and could affect all of us regardless of age and gender, and must come to an end,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “In light of the recent court decision, we are reminding our residents that Suffolk County has and will continue to enforce the nation’s toughest monitoring, enforcement and verification program.”
“This plan is comprehensive and it works, and the success of this program is in large part due to the dedication of County Executive Bellone, his staff, our Suffolk County legislators and our positive working relationship with Suffolk’s finest, the Suffolk County Police Department,” said Laura Ahearn, Executive Director for Parents for Megan’s Law. “We appreciate their ongoing commitment to this program and to our mutual goal of protecting the most vulnerable.”
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco (7th District), “What we have accomplished in Suffolk County is a very proactive approach to dealing with this problem and reducing recidivism.”
“The Community Protection Act is working as we have an extraordinary level of monitoring,” said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (2nd District), “Zero recidivism is unbelievable as Suffolk County is now a safer place to live.”
"We have a phenomenal Special Victims Unit in the Suffolk County Police Department, and outstanding leadership by Parents for Megan’s Law,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (3rd District). “This partnership helps us to make sure that we know where sex offenders live in Suffolk County.
“This is the strongest law in the country right here in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (6thDistrict). “There is a resource – Parents for Megan’s Law – that our residents can utilize to not only fully understand the issue of sex offenders in our community but to assist in the enforcement of the Community Protection Act.”
Since the implementation of the Community Protection Act, there are no reported cases with the Suffolk County Police Department of Suffolk County registered sex offenders reoffending in the County, a 100% reduction of sex offender recidivism. In the four years prior to the Community Protection Act being passed, there were 12 arrests of Suffolk County registered sex offenders for reoffending within the County.
The enforcement aspect of the program has lead to the Suffolk County Police Department making 44 arrests of those who are on the sex offender registry list for failure to comply. Also, nearly 100% of sex offender registrants were brought into compliance for failures to register home addresses, and 92% of Level 2 and 3 offenders were brought into compliance for failures to register work addresses. The public-private partnership will continue to extensively monitor the registry to ensure that all sex offenders are in compliance with County law.
Parents for Megan’s Law additionally highlighted that due to the Community Protection Act, more than 100 registered sex offenders in Suffolk County were removed from Facebook. Parents for Megan’s Law’s hotline, which is staffed by retired law enforcement personnel, has processed over 17,000 phone calls in the past 22 months to assist County residents.
For more information, log on to www.facebook.com/stevebellone or www.suffolkcountyny.gov. To view the public service announcement on the Community Protection Act, visitwww.parentsformeganslaw.org.