Anti-Crime Legislation Will Facilitate Access to Sex Offender Records for Law Enforcement Agencies

June 16, 2008

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Assembyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski (D-New City) announced Assembly passage of legislation to crack down on crime by helping protect children and communities from sex offenders and eliminating red tape for law enforcement agencies in accessing updated criminal records.

“We must make it easier for law enforcement agencies to access the criminal records necessary to do their jobs effectively, so it is critical that they have access to these files electronically.” Assemblywoman Jaffee said.

“It's vital that our laws keep pace with technology and that we continue to provide law enforcement with efficient tools to deal with ever-changing criminal activity,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.

The Assemblymembers said two of the bills will help provide better, updated information on criminals and sex offenders to more law enforcement agencies. The legislation:

  • includes the state regional park police as an additional law enforcement agency having access to sex offender registry information to help monitor offenders residing within a state park as well as providing the community with notification about the location of sex offenders (A.10487); and
  • expands the requirement that the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) notify local law enforcement agencies about the release of an inmate from state prison and streamlines such notification by allowing the information to be transferred electronically (A.10488).

In addition, the Assembly passed a bill providing that a person who impersonates another by Internet or electronic communication shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor (A.8252).

“Online impersonation is a serious problem that can result in crimes from harassment to identity theft, and the problem is intensifying with the growing availability of personal data online, as well as increased use of social networking and dating sites,” Assemblywoman Jaffee said.

Another piece of legislation that passed the Assembly would require sex offender registry checks for employees and volunteers of children’s camps – including day, overnight and traveling camps – prior to their beginning work and annually thereafter (A.8570-B).

“With the summer here, this measure will help keep children safe,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “Expanding a check of the sex offender registry for these employees and volunteers is a necessary tool to ensuring the safety of our children and easing the minds of their parents.”

These measures, having passed the state Senate, will now go to the Governor for his approval.