Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) joined fellow lawmakers in approving legislation allowing the Probation Department to monitor the computer activity of registered sex offenders and other criminals in an effort to protect children from those who use the Internet to perpetrate crimes against kids. The vote took place at the December 17 full legislative session.
All registered sex offenders and those convicted of endangering the welfare of a child where any part of the commission of the crime was facilitated by the use of a computer are subject to monitoring.
“By monitoring the computer usage of these criminals, we have another weapon at our disposal to protect our children,” Jacobs said. “The Internet can be a very useful tool for those looking to harm a child, whether it’s going into chat rooms, using sites like Myspace, or even looking for single mothers on dating sites. But this law will allow law enforcement professionals to watch every move they make on their computer, and our children will be safer for it.”
In other business, Jacobs and lawmakers approved legislation preventing the sale and dumping of invasive non-native plant species in the County. Jacobs said that invasive non-native plant species make their way into Nassau’s waterways when aquarium owners dump their fish tanks, unaware that the exotic plant species being dumped can wreak havoc with a delicate ecosystem. The County recently spent more than $1 million cleaning non-native plant species out of Mill Pond on the Wantagh-Merrick border.
“The natural beauty of Nassau County and its waterways are being threatened by invasive non-native plant species, and this law is a big step in keeping our local environment clean and healthy,” Jacobs said. “Nassau County’s ponds and bays need our help to keep them pristine, and this is one way of ensuring that the natural beauty of our communities will exist for generations to come.”
Legislators also approved pay raises for Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Comptroller Howard Weitzman, Assessor Harvey Levinson, Clerk Maureen O’Connell and District Attorney Kathleen Rice by an 11-8 vote.
The Legislature also approved several supplemental appropriations:
The next legislative session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 2, 2008.