By Janice Crompton
Peters council members on Monday said they were concerned about a local sex offender registry but took no action on the issue.
Council also rejected a motion to institute term limits for volunteer board members.
Earlier this month, council Chairman Frank Arcuri said he wanted more information about whether the township could regulate the distance between schools and parks and the homes of registered sex offenders.
After researching the issue, township solicitor William Johnson said the township has the authority to regulate the residency requirements of offenders, but such a move is not recommended by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.
The assessment board said local ordinances do little to protect the public from sex offenders and could backfire by making it more difficult for law enforcement to manage the sex offender population. According to statistics cited by the assessment board, the number of sex offenders who are unaccounted for doubles when residency restriction laws go into effect. Studies also show that placing restrictions on residency does not deter sex offenders from committing new offenses and shouldn't be used to control recidivism, according to the board.