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Sex offender residency restriction law in Amsterdam?

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Albany/HV: Sex offender residency restriction law in Amsterdam?
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Amsterdam is considering joining Colonie in trying to limit the number of sex offenders living in the area. This comes as officials report an increase of in the city, many residing in hotels and motels. Our Dayana Perez has the story.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – "We had approximately five sex offenders from outside the area move into the City of Amsterdam within seven days," said Amsterdam Police Department Sergeant Owen Fuhs.

An alarming rate in such a short amount of time, leaving city officials coming up with ways to prevent more sex offenders from moving in.

"We want to be proactive, but at the same time, we have to be concerned about people's civil liberties. Of course, we want our children to be safe, so it's a careful balancing act that the council is striking," said Mayor Ann Thane.

The city is considering a sex offender residency restriction law, much like the one passed in Colonie last year. According to police reports, more than 40 sex offenders currently live in Amsterdam, many residing in motels and hotels. The law would limit the number of sex offenders to live in these businesses.

"I feel like if there is more living in the same area, it will become more of a problem," one person said.

"I don't think it will help out the situation here," said another person.

Under the law, businesses would have to pay a fee to obtain a occupancy license which will then have to be permanently placed at the hotel or motel's lobby or registration area.

"Let's face it, sex offenders are going to have to live somewhere, however, you just can't push them to a location that there is no local laws to avoid that and whether or not they move underground, if you will, by law, they have to register if they are on parole or probation, they will be kept track off," said Fuhs.

The common council has yet to decide whether to put the law up for a vote. The council will meet next Tuesday to discuss it.

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