New push to protect kids from sex offenders

YONKERS - There is a renewed effort from lawmakers to protect children from sex offenders living in Westchester.

A task force made up of Republican lawmakers say 400 sex offenders live in Westchester, with 160 of them in Yonkers. At a forum in Yonkers Thursday, Sal Monaco, the father of a boy who was allegedly approached by a sex offender, voiced his frustration at the system to the panel. The man accused of approaching five children in one day, including Monaco?s son, is free on $50,000 bond.

Assemblyman Mike Spano (R-Yonkers), who sponsored the forum, wants to pass legislation to make luring a child a felony.

Members of the task force were also trying to remedy the fact that there is no statewide law restricting sex offenders from living near a school building. ?There is no reason why we couldn't have a bill in effect to have [sex offenders] live beyond 1,000 feet of a school,? said Yonkers School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio.

Even though sex offenders register with police under Megan?s Law, there isn't a uniform policy governing how information is released to the community. Children's advocates say educating the community about where sex offenders live is an important step for safety.Related Information New York State Sex Offender Registry

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