Councilman Wants To Display Names, Faces Of Sex Offenders In Subway Stations
Queens City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.'s plan to plaster subway walls with pictures of sex offenders is a measure not everyone agrees with. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
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Train riders are reacting to a new proposal to display the faces and names of sex offenders inside subway stations.
"If you're coming in here late at night, maybe with children, or maybe there is a day care or something nearby, you'd want to know, you'd just want to know who's near," said one.
"I obviously would like to be protected as a woman, and also see that people do deserve a second chance if they have not had an extreme offense," said another.
Queens City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. put forth the proposal, which he said will not only protect women from being assaulted on the train, but also bring more attention to what he calls a dangerous problem.
"If you were convicted of groping, grinding or flashing, your name would go up on the subway station that you did this," Vallone said.
After requesting statistics from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Police Department, current numbers of sexual assaults in train stations have been difficult to track down.
In 2009, police reported nearly 600 complaints of sexual assaults on trains. 63 percent were related to sexual abuse, while 35 percent of complaints were a result of public lewdness.
Not everyone agrees a wall of shame is the answer, including officials with the MTA, who would ultimately approve, or not approve, the proposal.
"This is an idea that has been proposed numerous times before and one that we will not consider. The reason being, there are concerns of mistaken identity and concerns about vigilantes taking matters into their own hands," MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz told NY1.
Though there's no example of what the posters might look like, Councilman Vallone said that if the proposal is passed, the posters would go inside subway stations where the sex offenders have committed crimes in the past, or near their homes.
"I'm a dad, and anyone who does that, I don't have any problem shaming them," Vallone said.
The transportation committee is now reviewing the proposal to determine whether it will go to the City Council for a hearing.