UPDATE: Sex Offender Trailers Shuttered, But Remain On Site

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UPDATE, Tuesday, 5:15 p.m.:

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said on Tuesday that the two trailers have been permanently closed and are padlocked, although they have not been physically removed from their locations in Riverside and Westhampton.

The county relocated approximately 26 homeless convicted sex offenders from the trailers as of Monday, May 27, according to Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokesperson for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. The individuals were placed in shelters across Suffolk County away from families and children and with no more than one per site.

Ms. Baird-Streeter said security will remain at the trailers for about two weeks, although the date that the trailers will be towed away has not yet been determined.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The two trailers in Southampton Town that have housed homeless sex offenders after their release from custody for the past six years will be closed by Tuesday, Suffolk County officials announced Friday afternoon.

Nearly 30 individuals remaining in the trailers will be relocated to designated shelters throughout the county, kept away from children and families, and with no more than one individual per site, County Executive Steve Bellone said.

The trailers—one located at the Suffolk County Police shooting range off Old Country Road in Westhampton, and the other adjacent the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside—will be removed shortly after, according to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

The news came as a relief to town officials, community leaders and residents who vehemently opposed the trailer program since its inception under former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy in 2007. The town has hosted both trailers, serving the entire county, during that time.

“This has been a long-awaited resolution to an issue that has burdened this town so unfairly,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said on Saturday.

Mr. Bellone had promised last May to close the trailers by January 2012, but he missed that deadline. In February, he proposed legislation called the Community Protection Act, which established a rigorous monitoring system to keep track of the county’s roughly 1,000 convicted sex offenders who have been released from prison, and promised to relocate the homeless offenders from the trailers. Suffolk County legislators unanimously approved the legislation without legislative hearings because it was introduced as an emergency measure.

The Community Protection Act also awards a $2.3 million contract to Parents For Megan’s Law, a non-profit organization charged with ensuring that sex offenders comply with state laws that require them to register and report their address and workplace. Mr. Bellone announced last week that eight offenders had been arrested since the program’s implementation.

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