2013 was the year the homeless sex offender trailers went away.
For six years, the Suffolk County Department of Social Services kept two trailers on the East End as housing for homeless sex offenders — even though most of them were from western Suffolk. One trailer was kept in the parking lot of the Suffolk County jail in Riverside. The other was on county property in Westhampton.
When they were first introduced in 2007, the plan was that the trailers would be moved from community to community but that never happened and they stayed on the East End, much to the frustration of Riverhead, Riverside and Westhampton residents. Proposals to move or close the trailers were frequently shot down in county government, as legislators from western Suffolk feared seeing the trailers moved to their districts.
County Executive Steve Bellone, who inherited the problem when he took office in 2012, promised to discontinue use of the trailers by the end of 2012 but had to eat crow when that didn’t happen. It finally happened in May.
Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.