Sex offenders the focus of law enforcement workshop

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Police officers and officials from government agencies across Orange County took part in a workshop Friday to better understand what to do when a sex offender moves in.

David D'Amora is a counselor who helps rehabilitate sex offenders. He was on hand at the New Windsor workshop to help authorities deal with sex offenders when they re-enter the community. Darcie Miller is co-chair of the Orange County task force that specializes in managing sex offenders and sponsored the workshop. He wanted to gather information in an effort to make residents feel safer.

There are about 184 names on New York Sex Offender Registry in Orange County. The town of Wallkill recently enacted a law keeping offenders from living within 1,000 feet of locations where kids gather. Rockland County has a similar rule. However, according to D'Amora's presentation, those laws don't have a real impact on whether an offender repeats previous behavior. D'Amora recommends a dialogue between the community and agencies that deal with sex offenders.

D'Amora also says overall, the worst offenders are kept confined. He says the system is overly cautious when it comes to releasing convicted offenders back to the community.

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