Public meeting scheduled on sex offender trailers

01/09/2013 9:00 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The inside of the trailer for homeless sex offenders in place outside the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

With the News Year’s Day deadline to close the Riverside and Westhampton homeless sex offender trailers having come and gone without progress, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman has set up a community meeting later this month for residents to state their concerns.

Mr. Schneiderman was a guest speaker at Monday’s meeting of the Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton Community Association. He said County Executive Steve Bellone, who had promised to remove the trailers by the end of 2012, called him on New Year’s Eve to apologize and ask for more time to clear out the homeless trailers.

The trailers house all of Suffolk County’s homeless sex offenders, a policy that local town and county officials said was unfair to the Riverside and Westhampton communities who are being forced to shoulder the burden.

Mr. Schniederman said that while he believes Mr. Bellone will keep his promise and that he “remains committed to getting rid of [the trailers],” the community is not done fighting yet.

“I want to hear from you guys, too,” Mr. Schniederman said. “We’ve got schools, we’ve got libraries, we’ve got a lot places where children are and I will take whatever you say to the County Executive.”

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the County Center in Riverside and is open to the public.

Though Mr. Schneiderman said he was frustrated with the lack of progress on the issue, he said the county executive promised he would have a comprehensive proposal tackling not just the problem of homeless sex offenders in Suffolk County, but solving issues of housing all homeless families in Suffolk County by the Legislature’s first meeting in February.

Mr. Schneiderman said he hoped to have a draft of the plan before his Jan. 30 meeting to share with residents.

psquire@timesreview.com