Letter: Don't hire victims group to police
USA FAIR (Families Advocating an Intelligent Registry) is a not-for-profit corporation formed by family members of people on the sex offender registry. We believe that the vote by the Suffolk County Legislature to disperse registrants from two trailer camps to existing homeless shelters makes sense ["Legislators to shut trailers, order new checks by police," News, Feb. 6].
What would make even more sense, in the broader effort to improve sex offender management, would be to repeal the residency restrictions that have contributed to this homeless problem in the first place. Hopefully, the courts will do this soon.
What does not make sense is to sign a three-year, $2.7 million contract with Parents for Megan's Law, a victims' advocacy organization, to intensify checks on Suffolk's 1,016 registered sex offenders. This organization has no sex offender management experience. Advocates for victims play an important role in our democratic process, but they should not be given quasi-policing powers.
If the Suffolk County police need help to do this important job, why not use the money to add officers?
However, if Suffolk County really needs to outsource this task, County Executive Steve Bellone should conduct a competitive bid process. Only then will the taxpayers know if the most qualified organization was hired at the best price.
Shana Rowan, Washington
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of USA FAIR.