Herkimer Child Predators–Governor Hochul And NY State Police Respond

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Stephen Ames Berry

In February, I showcased and saluted Herkimer’s child predator watchdog. One of several such volunteer watchdogs nationwide, he outed a local predator in a lengthy YouTube expose. Herkimer now has one less high school math teacher and one less child sex predator. 

An alarming bit of information arose out of that video: the hundreds of apparently local predators who responded to the Watchdog’s online solicitation in which he posed as a teenage boy. Watchdog shared his cellphone’s messaging inbox screens with us: There were hundreds of unique responses in a short period of time.

I wrote to Governor Kathy Hochul, referencing my post and the YouTube video, and asking what state law enforcement is doing? This week I received a reply in the person of a very polite plainclothes state police officer, acting in response to the governor’s office. He assured me that the state police actively hunt down child sex predators, but don’t publicize their successes. Not only would it scare off the predators, but there are also interstate jurisdictional concerns, the possibility of charges of entrapment and apparently operational rules that govern what he implied were joint FBI-state operations. 

“There sure seems to be a lot of active child predators within easy driving distance of Herkimer Village.

I repeated the concern that I’d shared with Governor Hochul, that based on Watchdog’s video, there sure seems to be a lot of active child predators within easy driving distance of Herkimer Village. The state police officer tacitly agreed with, supporting my suspicion that Herkimer has long enjoyed a reputation as a child predator safe zone, be it individual predators or wholesale child trafficking.

I thanked the officer and we parted amicably. (This was our second visit from the state police prompted by concerns from Albany ).

A sincere thank you to Governor Hochul and the New York State Police for reaching out and responding, and to anyone who viewed Watchdog’s video and wrote the governor.

Also, a renewed thank you to local, state and federal law enforcement, a testament to whose ongoing vigilance can be seen in those surveillance drones patrolling the night skies over South Herkimer Village. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that there’s a coordinated effort to clean up Herkimer, with some of our more prominent gang houses recently emptied, the streets safer to walk and the gray panthers of the Herkimer Post not sprayed with toxins for months now.

 

NYS Affordable Housing Replaces Crumbling Contaminated Building

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Herkimer Village Affordable Housing Improvements
Tan building in background under demolition will be replaced by parking for adjacent affordable housing with funding provided by New York State.

by Linda Kaidan

It’s taken many years, but the dangerous hulk of a building at the corner of Protection Ave and King Street is finally being demolished. Yesterday a Herkimer County  Official and a Rochester-based asbestos removal contractor supervised the leveling. You can view how it looked just 10 days before.

Dangerous dilapidated structure on King St Herkimer days before demolition.

The property will be repurposed as a parking lot for affordable housing residents in an adjacent complex currently under renovation. 

Herkimer Stoneridge Affordable Housing
Expected Completion 2023

Public parking is woefully unavailable in Herkimer Village. On-street overnight parking is not available either. It would be very helpful if on-street permit parking were allowed for at least one vehicle per residence. This would help many share their homes with others in a time of great housing shortage. 

New Stone Ridge Day Care
Housing Project Funded By New York State

We might also consider multi-story housing. There is much precedence in our municipality.  Ground-level could provide parking for 3 or 4 stories of small to moderate-sized apartment units above.  More public transportation could help alleviate the need for parking and reduce ever-rising fuel and maintenance costs for those dependent on their own vehicles.

New York State’s investment in affordable housing infrastructure is much appreciated :).