Protecting children from the evils in society is sometimes hard to do. The biggest concern for parents is seeing where the evils come from. They can come from TV, music, friends, internet, people in the neighborhood, and sometimes family. The next biggest concern for parents is actually getting their kids to listen to them, especially the teens & toddlers; in those years the words whatever and no are very popular. The key is to make sure that between the whatever’s and the no’s kids are understanding what you say not just hearing what you say.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you prepare your children and teach them sometimes the evils of the world simply find them. North Tonawanda and Niagara County are trying to protect your children from those evils by attempting to enforce a law regarding sex offenders. In NYS the law requires level 3 sex offenders to live at least one thousand feet away from schools, child care facilities, parks, play grounds, youth centers and swimming pools. Niagara County is a bit stricter in that everything for the state law applies to county law but includes level 2 sex offenders.The city of North Tonawanda is even stricter in that everything in the state law applies to the city law and it includes all sex offenders and increases the proximity to a quarter of a mile.
Are the laws working here or simply displacing serious sex offenders in other neighborhoods? A quick brush up on what the levels mean, level 1 is least likely to reoffend, typical case is statutory rape where one party was 18 and the other was 15 – 17. A level 2 sex offender is at a medium risk to reoffend, and the level 3 sex offender has the highest risk of reoffending. According to the NYS DCJS in Niagara County there are 437 level 1, 386 level 2, and 75 level 3 sex offenders. In neighboring Erie county there are 506 level I, 383 level 2, and 278 level 3 sex offenders. Looking at all the counties in NY Niagara is stuck right in the middle. While the data doesn’t break down further into cities and towns, one might draw the conclusion that in North Tonawanda not many of those 75 level 3 offenders live within city boundaries.
That may be changing though as the city of North Tonawanda and Niagara County have been sued by Dale L. Goff. Mr. Goff is currently in Gowanda Correctional Facility even though he had completed 6 of his 7 year sentence in March, because his lawyer says he can’t find anywhere to live. Goff is a level 3 sex offender convicted of Attempted Sexual Abuse in the first degree in 2006. Goff and his lawyer say the residency restrictions are unconstitutional and they are fighting the law. Mayor of North Tonawanda also vows to fight the lawsuit.
See Channel 2: WGRZ for the full story!
What are your thoughts on this, should Niagara county and North Tonawanda be stricter than the state guidelines? Does it displace those offenders into other neighborhoods?
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Check out my other title Buffalo Teen Issues Examiner & Buffalo Addictions Examiner
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