HARTFORD - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, and state Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, have joined together to champion a bill that will give municipal leaders the ability to best secure the safety and well-being of their towns’ families.
The legislation, aimed at protecting families from registered sexual offenders, was the subject of a public hearing Wednesday by the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.
“It is paramount that parents have the tools and information necessary to ensure the safety of their children,” said Crisco, who testified in support of the bill.
“This legislation would give the municipal CEO information about the municipality’s residential makeup that can be used to inform and protect families, and for this reason I urge support of this bill.”
“This measure helps ensure that public officials are updated with basic information that will help minimize risk within their communities,” said Klarides, a member of the Judiciary Committee. “Municipal leaders have an obligation to work with law enforcement and make informed decisions about public safety, and part of that requires an understanding of the residential makeup.”
Senate Bill 432 will require the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to provide notice to the chief executive officer of a municipality upon the release of a registered sexual offender into such municipality.
This is particularly important in situations where a sexual offender is released into a neighborhood where young children reside. The bill would give the municipal CEO discretion to inform residents of the neighborhood so that parents could take appropriate actions with respect to the safety of their children.
A recent situation in which the bill would have been relevant occurred in the Town of Woodbridge where a Group Home is home to two sex offenders.
One of the offenders was convicted of four felony sex offense crimes, two of which involved young girls age 5 and 7. The other offender was convicted of two felony crimes involving sexual assault of a child.
Within two blocks of the Group Home live families with 28-30 children, ranging in age from 1 to 17. School-age children get on and off the bus mornings and afternoons and walk to their homes.
The bus stop for one of the children was located directly in front of the Group Home. It was relocated at the request of the parent once he learned of the residents of the Home.
However, it was several years before the parents learned this information and were able to take appropriate action.
This legislation would have made a difference by giving the municipal CEO the information necessary to inform families of the situation, and better secure the safety of these children.
This is a press release from Crisco's office.
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