One of the most highly publicized aspects of the city’s turn toward the poverty industry has been the open armed embrace given to registered sex offenders here.
According to the authoritative website Homefacts.com, there are 164 registered sex offenders living in the city of Niagara Falls this week, well over double the 70 who were living here in December 2007.
That’s one sexual predator for every 313 residents, the highest per capita number in the state of New York. The Niagara County average is one for every 726 residents, and across the state it is one for every 1,097 residents.
Since the 2010 census showed Niagara Falls had fewer than 200 more residents than the 50,000 needed to qualify for millions in federal Community Development Block Grant funding, critics speculated that the welcoming policy was a deliberate attempt to bolster the population numbers.
This was denied vehemently by Mayor Paul Dyster and former state assemblywoman Francine Del Monte at a public meeting on the subject held at Niagara Street Elementary School in 2009. A rooming house where as many as 25 registered sex offenders lived at the time was located less than 1,000 feet from the school, in violation of state law.
Since no one will hire them and their families often don’t want to have anything to do with them, registered sex offenders are completely dependent upon the various social services agencies that serve the Niagara Falls community for food, clothing, shelter, medical care and psychological counseling.
They represent the top of the pyramid in an economy that is becoming increasingly based on the care and feeding of those who cannot or will not care for and feed themselves.
Many of the offenders listed on the registry come from outside the city, and even outside the state. This is a highly unusual situation and one that has not been addressed by any public official here.
The Niagara Falls Reporter has run profiles of these perverts and recounted their heinous acts on so many occasions that to do so again here just seems gratuitous.
Suffice to say that the vast majority of the 164 committed their offenses against children, and that it is widely believed there is no “cure” for the sort of sexual perversion that leads these individuals to do what they do.
The stunningly high population of registered sex offenders here begs the question – What are the numbers for other categories of paroled felons, murderers, robbers, arsonists and more?
This we cannot know. The state Parole Board takes a dim view on the release of such information, referring to the parolees’ “right to privacy” and other issues.
What we can know is that the presence of such undesirables in a community invariably drives down property values
Citing a 2008 study, Slate magazine reported that houses located next door to a registered sex offender drop by 12 percent in value. And the picture gets even bleaker when you consider that sex offenders not only affect the value of adjacent properties, but those nearby. On average, homes located within an 0.1 mile radius of a registered sex offender drop in value by 4 percent, the study showed.
In Niagara Falls, it would be difficult to find a home today that is not located 0.1 mile or less from a registered sex offender.
The disproportionately high number of registered sex offenders living in Niagara Falls is not something that happened by coincidence. It is the result of very deliberate public policy decisions made on the state and local level by elected and appointed officials charged with overseeing the city’s affairs.
Why the taxpayer gets to see are the results of such policies. To experience the poverty industry firsthand.