Amherst Police Recognized for Sex Offender Management Program

February 21, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Pictured from left to right are Mark Spawn (New York State Association of Chiefs of Police), Amherst Police Detective Edward Solak, Amherst Police Chief John C Askey, Amherst Police Captain Enzio Villalta.

February 21, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM EDT

Schenectady, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Amherst Police Department has been certified by the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police in a special sex offender management program.

According to a news release issued Tuesday, the certification recognizes that the Amherst Police are employing proactive and sound practices in managing sex offenders in their community.
The “Certified Best Practices” program was launched in 2009 to recognize police agencies using proven strategies to monitor sex offenders, provide community notification and conduct enforcement.

Association Executive Director John P. Grebert said, “For several years, managing sex offenders has become an important function of law enforcement. Police are on the front lines in ensuring that offenders comply with the law and that citizens are informed about certain offenders living in their communities.”

Association President Joseph D. Waldron (Mechanicville PD) said, “We commend the members of the Amherst Police Department for the exceptional work they do in managing sex offenders in their community.”

The policies and operations of the Amherst PD were assessed and found to be in compliance with the elements of the Best Practices program. In addition to having a written policy pertaining to sex offender management, they were also required to provide proof of monitoring of offenders, community notification, cooperation with other agencies, and enforcement.

Chief John C. Askey noted, “Monitoring sex offenders has become an integral function of our department. In additional to the work done by our detectives and street officers, we provide information to the community through our website. We provide a simplified explanation of New York’s sex offender laws, a description of offender risk levels, and information for parents.”

Williamsville North High School Principal Petrina Neureuter said, “The school has an outstanding working relationship with the Amherst Police Department and we strive to keep the lines of communication open in all matters involving student safety.”

The Association’s director of research, development and training, Mark Spawn noted that the Best Practices program takes several factors into consideration. “This program identifies important aspects of sex offender registration and gives agencies the ability to have an external validation of
their processes.”