Just another politician exploiting ex-offenders, fear, families and children to make a name for himself (See this video)? This is just a placebo to pacify people and lull them into a false sense of security. The city won't be any more safe. Not all ex-offenders harm children, and this is another blanket law that treats all ex-offenders as if they do. If a person is intent on committing a crime, this won't stop them, but the fact is, most sexual crimes occur in the victims own home and family, not at some park or school.
In an effort to crack down on some of New York’s worst sex offenders, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said he will introduce legislation that would restrict them from residing within 500 feet or less from any public park with a playground.
“As a parent of two young children, I understand how critical it is that we create stronger laws to keep sexual predators out of areas where our children congregate and play,” Goldfeder said. “I drafted this new legislation to ensure that sex offenders stay out of our public parks and away from our children.”
The bill would fine tune current laws by forbidding level two and three sex offenders – which, according to the state, means individuals at a medium or high risk of re-offense – from living within 500 feet of a public park that has playground. The legislation, Goldfeder said, would close the offender loophole that currently exists and ensure that all parks where children commonly play remain off limits to those convicted of sex crimes.
Current state regulations restrict sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of parks that are attached to school buildings, but no regulation exists for parks that are not aligned with schools.
The legislation comes on the heels of Rockaway parents being outraged last month upon learning two convicted sex offenders moved into the same building on Beach 116th Street – which is situated further than 1,000 feet from the nearest school but is within a few hundred feet of the beach and public parks.
“On behalf of Rockaway parents, I applaud Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder for his quick action and response to our genuine concerns about the safety and wellbeing of our children,” said Irene Dougherty, Parent Teacher Association co-president of the belle Harbor School.
Dorothy McCloskey, director of the Friends of Charles Park, too threw her support behind Goldfeder’s legislation.
“As an advocate for the rebuilding and development of Frank Charles Park, as well as a mother and grandmother living in the community, I believe it is not only important to make our parks beautiful, but also to make them safe and secure from adults who prey upon our defenseless children,” McCloskey said.
Goldfeder has sponsored sex offender legislation in the past, including a bill signed in 2012 that requires registered high-level sex offenders to keep their photos for the online offender registry up to date by having their photo taken every 90 days.
“I will fight to ensure our families and children live in a safe community and that parents have the peace of mind they deserve,” Goldfeder said.