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Hearing set on limits for sex offenders

West Seneca Councilwoman Christina Wleklinski Bove says a proposed buffer zone for sex offenders would be the town's third step in a year to protect children.

Registered sex offenders living in the town already are listed on the town's Web site,, and last July the town called for the state to impose mandatory electronic monitoring on sex offenders, she said.

"This is another step forward to do everything possible to save the children of West Seneca from sexual predators," she said.

At Monday night's meeting, the Town Board scheduled a public hearing April 24 on limiting where registered sex offenders could live.

The measure would bar such offenders from living "too close to schools, parks, playgrounds, athletic centers, day care centers or anyplace where children congregate," Bove said.

But exactly what that would mean hasn't been determined.

"This would expand upon the residential requirements," said Police Chief Edward F. Gehen, who said the town now simply follows state requirements, which mandate that offenders register within 10 days of moving into the town.

"If they haven't registered in timely fashion, we'll send a detective out to see where they are, to check on them, and they're charged accordingly," Gehen said.

They could be subject to arrest.

Town Attorney Timothy Greenan was directed to examine at other towns' ordinances for ideas. Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport and Hamburg have passed or are considering such measures.

Bove said other towns have set buffer zones of 1,500 or 2,000 feet.

Seven Level 2 offenders and two Level 3 offenders live in the town of about 45,000, according to West Seneca's Web site.

West Seneca and Orchard Park schools, the two districts that cover the town, send out notices when police tell them registered sex offenders have moved in, but Bove said residents remain concerned.

"I've walked the town, talking with neighbors, and I've found that was one of the issues that kept coming up," she said.

"Parents and grandparents were concerned about not getting official notices from the school districts, if they lived close to the line," she said. "I want people to realize they can bring their input, their suggestions."


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