November 10, 2019 | 3: 35pm
Sen. Chuck Schumer slammed the FBI and Justice Department Sunday, saying the two agencies dropped the ball on sharing a national sex offender database with local schools and institutions.
The Child Protection Improvements Act, which was supposed to go into effect in March, was meant to give state and local institutions access to the federal database so they could weed out sex offenders and other criminals while making new hires.
But the New York Democratic senator said the feds continue to hoard the database and keep locals in the dark.
“While the FBI and the Department of Justice have a big list of every sex offender in the country, they don’t let our schools, our after-schools, our camps use the list,” he said.
“This is not just for kids,” Schumer added. “Elderly people are often abused because they’re sort of old and less able to protect themselves. Seniors centers as well.”
Currently, sex offender registries are maintained by individual states, which allows some offenders to cross state lines to land new jobs in schools or nursing homes without being found out.
Schumer also released a stern letter — co-signed by US Rep. Adam Schiff — he sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William Barr, demanding a reply by Dec. 1 explaining why the law wasn’t implemented and a timeline for when it would be.
The FBI and DOJ have a master list of 800,000 sex offenders nationwide, but it is currently off limits to local and state officials, he said.
The Child Protection Improvement Act was passed in March 2018 to address the loophole, and was due to go into effect this past March — but it hasn’t happened.
The FBI and DOJ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.