The concerns of one West Hempstead mother regarding registered sex offenders living just blocks away from her daughter's elementary school have not fallen on deaf ears.
Andrea Shinsato, a mother of two, recently sent to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), alerting him to the fact that the on Hempstead Turnpike, which is located near the , has become a haven for registered sex offenders.
Sen. Skelos responded this week, sending the attached letter to Shinsato.
In it, he told Shinsato that as both an elected official and a parent, "I share your concern about the safety of our children and appreciate your efforts as a dilligent and engaged mother."
Skelos said he has "spent much of [his] politicial career fighting for the protection of children, especially from the dangers posed by sexual predators." He sponsored and fought for improvements to Megan's Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to register. For instance, in 2006, he said the law was "further strengthened for sex offenders most likely to reoffend and pose the greatest dangers ... by preventing them from coming off the registry in their lifetimes."
The Senate also passed legislation to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the sex offenders registry and increase penalties for non-compliant offenders, Skelos explained.
Additionally, he said he has successfully advocated in the Senate for the passage of other bills that would reduce convicted sex offenders' access to "vulnerable populations" by limiting the places where they can live and work
"We also need to look beyond legislative action, as nothing can replace the vigilance of parents, children, law enforcement, teachers and others in being observant and reporting suspicious behavior shown by sex offenders -- or anyone potentially posing a risk to a child -- before something terrible occurs," he stated.
Skelos instructed his office to contact the Nassau County Police's Fifth Precinct and asked them to provide additional patrols around the Capri.
In closing he told Shinsato that "the George Washington Elementary School community is fortunate to have an advocate like you working to increase awareness and raising visibility about this important issue." He promised to continue to work to strengthen laws pertaining to this issue and "advocate for any action that will help protect those students and the community as a whole from sexual predators."
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