VOORHEESVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) - A local daycare is raising some serious concerns after learning a sexually violent offender has moved in down the street.
He’s within his rights to do so.
Out of an abundance of caution, officials with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision say the man was moved to a new address Wednesday.
A senate bill would close a loophole that allows sex offenders to live dangerously close to children. Right now, there is nothing police or family daycares can do to prevent that.
“The investigator handed this to me and he said just to let you know there's a level three sex offender living a couple doors down from me,” Colleen Salisbury, Owner of This Little Piggy Went to Daycare in Voorheesville, said.
Unnerving for any parent to hear, especially when you own a daycare.
"I thought there was no way and that this had to be a mistake.”
Under current law, standalone pre-kindergartens and family daycares are not considered “schools" meaning sexually violent offenders can live nearby.
The New York State Department of Corrections is allowing a sex offender with a high risk of repeat offense and threat to public safety to live 528 feet from Colleen’s daycare.
"I was appalled. I was completely caught off guard. I thought I was at least protected by something, and I am not."
On Tuesday, senators passed a bill to change that by giving municipalities the ability to restrict where sex offenders can live. It’s being held up in the Assembly Correction Committee.
"They have an obligation to do their job. We're asking the New York State Assembly just bring it to the floor for at least a vote. That's what representative democracy is all about. We're thinking about the vulnerability of our children," Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) said.
In Voorheesville, Colleen is drumming up support and hoping the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) will move her new neighbor.
She’s putting pressure on lawmakers to give all child care services the same protection.
‘Family daycares, group daycares, anything licensed with New York. I want that covered under one umbrella and have their rights protected.”
Now the Albany County Sheriff’s Office wants that community to know they will closely monitor the sexually violent offender.
Colleen is hoping to take it a step further and move him out of the area away from her daycare entirely.
A DOCCS spokesperson issued the following statement:
"DOCCS is exploring its options with regard to housing for this parolee. In the meantime, the Department will continue to strictly supervise the parolee, including employing the use of a GPS monitor, to ensure he remains compliant with the conditions of his parole and is not a potential risk to the community."
Department officials provided the following information that outlines where sexual offenders may reside:
The Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA), which restricts sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, does not include daycare centers. Schools are well documented, easily identified and labeled on maps. A home daycare center can be more difficult to locate, and in this case and in this case, a review of the area did not identify that the home is being using as a daycare.
DOCCS’ staff considers a variety of factors in community residence placement of sex offenders including:
· Sex Offender Registry Risk Level
· Laws or ordinances restricting the residency of certain sex offenders in the jurisdiction
· Proximity of entities with vulnerable populations
· Location of other sex offenders in any one residential area
· Number, if any, of registered sex offenders currently at a particular property
· Accessibility to family members, friends or other supportive services including, but not limited to, locally available sex offender treatment programs which help in reducing sex offender recidivism and increasing public safety
· Availability of permanent, stable, housing in order to reduce the likelihood that the parolee will be transient
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