Saturday, November 1, 2008


The Lockport US&J reported on last night's proactive sex offender sweep by the Sheriff's Department. Here is an abbreviated version of the story...

As trick-or-treaters filled the streets Friday night, a small task force of law enforcement was going door-to-door as well — checking in on the area’s sex offenders. With so many children out and about, sex offenders had been told to stay inside, leave their porch lights out and not answer the door.

Representatives from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, the Lockport Police Department and the probation department The group gathered at the sheriff’s department about 3:30 p.m. to prepare for the day. They mapped out a route, through the City of Lockport and surrounding areas, including Middleport and Ransomville.

This is the third year the probation department has made the home visits — and perhaps the new initiative is a sign of the times.

“When I was a kid, trick-or-treating ... my parents would go, ‘Don’t go to that house, there’s weird people there,’ “ Sheriff’s Investigator Brian Schell said, as he prepared to start the sweep. “Now, we’ve identified the houses and people our parents warned us about.”

The article goes on to talk about the only arrest....

The sheriff’s department made one arrest during the evening — Richard Baker, 28, whose listed address on the registry is Chestnut Ridge Road in Gasport.

Baker, a Level-2 offender, was wanted on an arrest warrant for allegedly failing to notify officials of his change his address. He was convicted in 2007 of second-degree sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl. Sheriff’s Investigator Leonard Guagliano said officers found Baker at a relative’s house on Church Street.