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In addition, all level 2 and level 3 sex offenders (those being the most serious offenders) living in the Town of Babylon were identified using the NYS Sex Offender Registry. The addresses were inputted into the system and those individuals who were living in violation of the County residency restriction law were immediately identified.
If there are new offenders, a QOLT member makes an entry into a log book and then checks Town records for any possible violations. The information about the sex offender is also immediately forwarded to the Town’s GIS operator to determine if there is a violation of the County’s residency restriction law. The Director of QOLT assigns the case to an inspector.
In addition, the Town sends a monthly report and GIS Map, indicating the location of each offender, to every school district located within the Town of Babylon notifying them of the findings and assisting them with their district’s alert to the parents of school age children. Further, the Town will notify each school district of the arrival of a new offender, daily.
If the offender is also living in illegal housing, summonses are issued to both the offender and the property owner. Summonses will also be issued to the owner of the property for any other violations found during the investigation.
Although the Town has no enforcement jurisdiction within the three villages, the Town follows the same notification process in each of these communities.
An inspector from QOLT is assigned to each offender who is currently violating the residency restriction law. The inspector is charged with visiting the location and confirming the residency status as well as issuing summonses for any violations that have been found.
The investigation also raises the question as to whether residency restriction laws are producing negative unintended consequences. Currently 57% of the sex offenders registered in the Town are living in restricted areas.
While some of these individuals are grandfathered under the current law, this high percentage may reflect the very limited area available within the town where sex offenders may legally reside. This number combined with the fact that numerous sex offenders are not living in their registered locations could be an indication that offenders are purposefully avoiding the registration requirements under Megan’s Law.
On a federal level, it also requires persons convicted of sex crimes against children to notify local law enforcement of any change of address or employment after release from custody.