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Bedford PD Certified for Sex Offender Management

BEDFORD, N.Y.—  The Bedford Police Department is now one of 42 other departments to be certified by The New York State Association of Chiefs of Police as meeting the standards of the group’s “Certified Best Practices” sex offender management program.

“Managing sex offenders is a big ticket item for law enforcement these days. We really weren't doing much in the line of sex offender management in law enforcement until 1996 with the advent of Meghan’s Law,” said former Fulton, N.Y. chief of police Mark Spawn, who developed the program.

Spawn, who is the director of research, development and training for the association, created the program in 2009 as a way to recognize police agencies that employ effective policies and operations. The program requires departments to provide proof of their methods of monitoring sex offenders, providing community notification, cooperating with other agencies like probation and parole and carrying out enforcement.

“Why that is important to you as legislators and to you as a community is there is certain information that you get to know and there are certain things that are required of the court, certain things that are required of the state division of criminal justice services,” but, Spawn said, there also are some actions a police department can take that they are not necessarily mandated to do under the law.

The Bedford Police Department is going that extra step to ensure the safety of the community, he said.

“Bedford PD is doing the things that they are not necessarily required to do and they’re doing things that are proactive, they are doing things that are public safety-oriented,” he said.

In a department press release, Chief William Hayes noted the value of the recent certification. “Protecting this community is our singular focus. One of the most important outcomes of this certification is that the process of becoming certified ensured that we have all the pieces in place to best serve our citizens," he said.

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