N.Y. county hires ex-cops to track sex offenders

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RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (AP) — A suburban New York organization has been paid $2.3 million over the last three years to send retired police officers to the homes of sex offenders to verify compliance with state registry laws.

Suffolk County officials say the program has been successful.

The detectives found that some offenders on the registry were deceased or deported. Others had listed addresses that ended up being vacant lots, or abandoned homes.

But some are questioning whether a private nonprofit group should be performing duties usually seen as the purview of police or probation officers.

Critics include a sex offender who has filed a federal lawsuit against the county and the group, Parents for Megan’s Law.

Laura Ahearn, the group’s executive director, says it is essential for sex offender registries to be verified for accuracy.