LITTLE EGG HARBOR – After months of not being able to legally notify people of a sex offender living in a neighborhood, police were finally able to go door to door to tell residents, officials said.
The situation became public last month when Little Egg Harbor Police Chief Richard Buzby posted an intentionally vague warning on Facebook for parents to keep an eye on their children because there was a sex offender who was likely to reoffend in the area.
Police officials said at the time that this was a situation in which Megan’s Law did not provide the protections it was supposed to. The suspect reoffended before neighbors could be notified. This is because notification is reliant on what tier the offender is placed in, and the tier process had been held up by an appeal.
This afternoon police were able to go door to door to provide the notifications needed. A spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said that the county’s appeal was successful and the suspect was placed in Tier 3, meaning he is most likely to reoffend.
Today, Buzby said that only those living closest to the offender have been notified, since that it is what the law spells out.
“I urge all parents to remain vigilant for those offenders that we don’t know about,” he wrote on a Facebook post. “I realize this matter has caused us all concern and want to personally commend this community for its responsible behavior and its steadfast support in this difficult situation.”
Public information about Megan’s Law and the identity of sex offenders can be accessed at the online registry, located at njsp.org/sex-offender-registry/.