Couple raises concerns about 5 sex offenders living in nearby home

Posted: Updated:
SHIRLEY -

A Shirley couple says five sex offenders are living together in their community nearly 80 feet from their home.

Jennifer and Thomas Gritz, who have lived in their home for the past 14 years, say they no longer allow their 10-year-old son to play outside.

“I want my son to go outside and be a kid – play in the backyard, ride his bike up and down the street. He doesn't even do that unless one of us is with him,” says Jennifer Gritz.

Laura Ahearn, from Parents for Megan's Law, says the problem exists because the state Court of Appeals in 2015 shot down all laws restricting where sex offenders could live.

Since then, she and others have been advocating to give individual counties the power to make those decisions.

“It's the Assembly [Democrats] that will not allow suburban counties to have the power to be able to restrict where a sex offender can or cannot reside,” said Ahern. “Now, there could be 25 in one dwelling. It's an outrage.”

News 12 reported on the issue in February, and spoke with Assemblyman Dean Murray who says that Corrections Law 203 orders the state Division of Parole to come up with guidelines to avoid placing too many sex offenders in one neighborhood. He says nothing has been done to fix the problem since.

Assemblyman Dean Murray spoke with Murray on the phone Saturday, who said he's waited too long for a decision from the state corrections commissioner on the number of sex offenders living at one particular property. He is calling on the commissioner to either do his job or step down.

News 12 reached out to the state corrections commissioner for a comment.

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