Safe Sanctuary


“Safe Sanctuary” is a policy intended to prevent abuse and promote a safer church environment, especially for young people and those who are vulnerable.  Our congregation’s purpose for this policy and accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the safety and spiritual growth of all of our children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Safe Sanctuary policy 2017

Important Notebooks

Safe Sanctuaries notebooks can be found both in the Coffee House and the downstairs kitchen. They detail Tab’s policies regarding safety within the building, and also contain profiles of sex offenders who currently reside within a five-mile radius of the church.

As detailed on the Broome County Sheriff’s page of the site, in May, 117 offenders lived in 72 locations within a five-mile radius of the church. In all of Broome County, 385 offenders were listed.

Some of those individuals may attend the Wednesday night Community Meal or Sunday morning worship services. If you volunteer at the meal, you may want to peruse the profiles, which include photographs of each offender, to familiarize yourself.

You can also learn which offenders may live near your home by logging on and clicking on the Broome County Sheriff’s page.

On that page, a link to the OffenderWatch system and a search function at offer a way for you to be continually updated when offenders relocate near you.

Updates occur constantly as offender addresses and other information come into the Sheriff’s office. That means you can enter any address within Broome County and see real-time information on the publishable offenders within the specified radius of the address you entered.

Tabernacle’s notebooks, too, are continually updated.

As the site explains, “Offenders move frequently, so the best way to stay informed is to take advantage of the free email alert system. You may confidentially register as many addresses in the County as you wish, and we will continuously monitor the addresses and send you an email alert if a new offender registers an address within the specified radius of any address you register. There is no cost for this service and no limit to the number of addresses you can register – your email address and physical addresses are all confidential. Tell your friends and neighbors and be sure to register your home, school, work, gym, day care, park, soccer field, parents or children’s homes – any address of interest to you!”

Importantly, the site also lists offenders’ Internet screen names and email addresses.

Offenders fall into three categories. Level 1 offenders (low risk) must register for 20 years, unless they have a designation (e.g. sexual predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate sex offender (meaning that the individual was previously convicted for a similar offense), in which case they must register for life. Level 2 offenders (moderate risk) and Level 3 offenders (high risk) must register for life.

If you have any questions, email Detective Michael Clapp at or call 778.1189.

Facts About Sex Offenders

  • In 2016, there were approximately 861,837 registered sex offenders in the United States.
  • Most sex offenders (80- 95%) assault people they know.
  • At least half of convicted child molesters report that they also have sexually assaulted an adult.
  • Over 80% of convicted adult rapists report that they have molested children.
  • Approximately one-third of sex offenders report assaulting both males and females. Research shows that most convicted sex offenders have committed many, many assaults before they are caught.
  • Most sex offenders report that they have committed multiple types of sexual assault (sexual assault crimes include exhibitionism, voyeurism, oral sex, vaginal penetration, attempted penetration, fondling, and incest)
  • Over two-thirds of offenders who reported committing incest also said they assaulted victims outside the family.
  • Some studies of victims have shown less than 30% of sex crimes are reported to law enforcement.
  • Young victims who know or are related to the perpetrator are least likely to report the crime to authorities.

Sex Offender Characteristics

  • Most offenders commit multiple crimes against multiple types of victims with whom they have varying types of relationships (adults, children, male, female, known and unknown). This behavior is known as “crossover”.
  • Sex offenders rarely commit just one type of offense. Many offenders have NO official criminal record or sex crime history of any kind.
  • There is no such thing as a “typical” sex offender; however, all tend to be manipulative, deceptive, and secretive. Sex offenders come from all backgrounds, ages, income levels, and professions.
  • The majority of offenses (80 – 95%) are committed by someone the victim knows.
  • Sexual deviancy often begins in adolescence.
  • Sex offenders usually do not commit their crimes impulsively. They usually carefully plan their crimes.

Approximately 4% of sexual assaults are committed by women.

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