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Sex offender locator now available via Facebook

by jmaloni
Fri, Oct 28th 2011 02:00 pm

With a few clicks, users of a social networking site can get information about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in their neighborhoods

Facebook users can now access information about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in their neighborhood, next to their workplace or near their child's school with just a few clicks - and without leaving the popular social networking site.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services on Oct. 17 launched its Sex Offender Locator Application, which is accessible via the New York State Public Safety Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nyspublicsafety. Facebook users also can share the application to their own pages and encourage their friends to do the same.

DCJS maintains the state's sex offender registry and a registry subdirectory on the agency's website (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor) that provides information about Level 2 (medium risk) and Level 3 (high risk) sex offenders to the public. The new Facebook application is designed to make that information more readily accessible.

"Knowledge is power. New Yorkers now have another way to access up-to-date information about sex offenders in their neighborhoods," DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said. "With Halloween around the corner, parents now have another tool to learn where offenders live so they can ensure their children stay away from those locations, as well as strangers' homes. The Facebook app puts that important information at parents' fingertips, whether they are at home or on the go."

As Oct. 17, there were 32,994 registered sex offenders on the state's Sex Offender Registry: 12,473 Level 1 offenders; 11,685 Level 2 offenders; 8,163 Level 3 offenders; and 673 offenders whose risk level is pending.

In Niagara County, there were 398 registered sex offenders on the state's Sex Offender Registry: 168 Level 1 offenders; 148 Level 2 offenders; 79 Level 3 offenders; and three offenders whose risk level is pending.

In addition to providing information about Level 2 and 3 offenders via Facebook and the DCJS website, the state allows New Yorkers to sign up to receive alerts via email, text, fax or telephone whenever those sex offenders move to, or from, a community of interest - their home, work or child's school, for example. DCJS offers the sex offender relocation notices through the state's NY-ALERT system; visit www.nyalert.gov and click on the "Sign up for NY-Alerts" link in the left menu to learn more and register.

Individuals can register up to three locations, either by county/municipality, zip code or specific address, or any combination of those three options, for which they would like to receive relocation alerts. More than 12,000 individuals have registered to receive e-alerts since the system went live on March 15, 2010.

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