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CHICOPEE - Two aldermen will ask the full board to support them in implementing a new registered sex offender restrictions ordinance similar to one just approved in Springfield.
At-Large Aldermen James K. Tillotson and Robert J. Zygarowski have jointly filed an order for Tuesday's meeting in City Hall.
Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette has also announced he will ask the Police Department to have all shifts check sex offenders most likely to reoffend every two weeks at their workplace, if in the city, and home addresses to ensure they are working and living there.
- At their workplace? This is harassment, and I guarantee when you show up, these people will lose their jobs because of your BS, and I hope they sue you for this!
Police now make these checks annually.
"My order is that these checks be made by all police officers as part of their regular duties and everyone in the city will know these officers assigned to that zone will know which sex offenders live there," the mayor said. He will issue this order following National Night Out activities on Monday.
Bissonnette also pointed out that Chicopee became the first community in Western Massachusetts to show photographs and information on sex offenders living in the city on local cable Channel 5.
Last May, the mayor, Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett and Police Chief John R. Ferraro Jr. announced the program's kickoff.
The two aldermen began considering proposing an ordinance to protect children from sex offenders months ago but asked Associate City Solicitor Daniel P. Garvey to research sex offender ordinances around the country and wait to see what happened in Springfield.
On July 17, Springfield Mayor Charles V. Ryan signed an ordinance approved by the City Council to ban sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a school and limiting their presence in areas such as parks.
The Springfield ordinance calls for a fine of $300 for a sex offender who violates the residency rule for a first time and subsequent fines of $300 each. Offenders would be required to move to another residence upon receipt of a written notice of the violation.
Tillotson, chairman of the Ordinance Committee, said, "We have been working with the Law Department and waiting to see what happened in Springfield. I am hoping this is forwarded to the Ordinance Committee. I think when one community passes something like this, there is a fear that the sex offenders will move into another city. It raises the level of concern and we want this open for discussion."
Zygarowski said, "We had Dan Garvey doing research back in February and we were waiting to see how Springfield handled it. I want to look at it and see if it's conducive to our city and citizens. We would like to fine tune our own.
"It all started when I received several calls and a letter from constituents regarding sex offenders living in their areas and I felt we should put it on the table where we can look at it," said Zygarowski.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
MA - Chicopee seeks offender rules
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