Plan Would Ban Sex Offenders From State Parks

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Hundreds of thousands of campers visit state parks each summer.

One name is registered per campsite.

State park officials want to keep a closer eye on who is camping.

The state parks commissioner wants to ban Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from campgrounds - those are offenders law enforcement believes will commit a crime again.

This comes after after several incidents at state parks involving sex offenders in the last three years.

"This is one more step in trying to have the necessary rules so that the park manager or park police could deal with a situation as it arises," said Kevin Kieff, Thousand Islands Regional Director for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The new rule would allow park police to kick a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender off park grounds.

But officials say there's no way to make sure sex offenders don't get there in the first place.

"Hundreds of thousands of people that stay in campgrounds we can't check way to check every name against the state register," said Dan Keefe, spokesperson for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Keefe says there's no plan to screen campers, so there's a chance sex offenders can stay undetected.

State park officials are asking for your opinion.

Campers can post public comment on the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website through June 20.

Sunday, November 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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