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Skaneateles police identify sex offender at park

Skaneateles residents were notified last week of a Level 3 sex offender in the area.

The suspect's vehicle was seen at Austin Park during the Skaneateles Community Center's summer recreation Play Day program.

The man's name has not been released because there were no charge filed and he was not committing any crimes, said Skaneateles Police Chief Lloyd Perkins.

"There was a Level 3 sex offender identified by the police in the park and he was in there in a green vehicle," Perkins said. "We sent two officers up there, they checked the guy and he went on his way. We haven't seen him since."

A neighbor alerted Matthew Major, director of recreation, to the vehicle and the authorities were contacted.

Major said when he called the Skaneateles Police Department, the officer's response was immediate. From the time he called the police to the time the patrol vehicles were on the scene was approximately three minutes.

"I'm so thankful to the concerned neighbor and the local police," he said. "It really is a gift to our community."

Perkins said that under the sex offender registry rules he can notify "vulnerable entities" when there is an offender in the area and details about that person. Those entities include, but are not limited to, residents, schools and day care centers.

Major issued a letter to parents and sent them home with children in sealed envelopes so the parents have an opportunity to sit down and talk to their children about what occurred.

"I just want to make sure everyone is aware of what transpired," he said.

As a father, Major said the incident was unnerving. However, the feedback from the parents regarding the situation and the center's response to it has been positive.

"They're happy we've been proactive," Major said.

At this time, Major said the directors and counselors at the center are taking extra precautions. Prior to the incident, the protocol was to "immediately report something like this to the police department."

According to Perkins, residents in the area need to be vigilant of what is happening in their surrounding.

"Don't get a false sense of security, because these people are mobile," he said. "If you see somebody who's acting funny, if you have a gut feeling, call the police."

Perkins said the department has been in touch with the Syracuse Police Department as the suspect is from Syracuse.

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