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UPDATE: Former Sayville Library is Becoming a Popular Teen Lover's Lane

Pastor hopes police, school officials can help put an end to public sex acts.

ED NOTE: As this Patch story posted this afternoon Sayville school workers were busy putting up a snow fence to block off entry to the rear of the former Sayville Library building.

The site of the former Sayville library and soon-to-be home for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is quickly becoming a lover’s lane and one local pastor is hoping increased police patrol and oversight by Sayville schools will help deter future teenage activity.

In a letter sent to Suffolk Police, school district officials and the incoming church leadership, the Reverent Gary Brinn, pastor at Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ, requests the parties work together in preventing teenagers from having sexual encounters behind the vacant building located on Main Street and Collins Avenue.

Brinn’s church and parsonage are located directly north and just around the corner from the empty building which the UUF is buying as its future home.

There were two incidents of inappropriate public behavior, said Brinn, in just the last two weeks. In both cases, after noticing the teens from his parsonage window, he yelled out to scare them off..

“I do not wish to be a prude, to criminalize or demonize teen sex. It's a reality. However, this conduct is risky if not dangerous, and quite frankly, should not be taking place in a visible public space,” Brinn wrote in his letter.

In addition, he told Patch in an email, he believes such activity makes teenagers vulnerable to predators, from a so-called friend who may send out cellphone photos or video of the activity to the Internet or blackmail the teens for money.

“As a pastor, I'd prefer to see them wait until they are older, in a committed relationship, preferably even married... opposite sex or same sex. I don't care. But I'm a realist, and I was no angel as a teen myself. The bottom line is this: in addition to the risks that come with any sex, public sex, especially by those underage, makes them vulnerable …and a community we must sometimes help protect our youth from their own impulses,” he said.

Brinn said troublesome incidents at the property, which has been vacant for some time, have been minimal in the last year. He is asking police and school officials to consider potential solutions, from erecting barriers to the property or putting signs up that the area is under observation.

The pastor thinks a good solution would be gating the back of the property.

“But in the interim, even a sign saying "You can be seen from neighboring properties" might help,” he told Patch.

Rev. Gary Brinn July 16, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I am happy to say the school system acted quickly. The same folks who have done a great job maintaining the grounds for the last year quickly got a temporary fence up this afternoon. Hat's off to the system's leaders and hard workers... there's a reason we have such excellent schools...
Kathleen July 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It is not the police or the schools problem. It is up to the whole community and Parent to provide a safe haven for these children. There are no jobs or activities in this town for these kids they have nothing to do except hang out and get into trouble. Our youth needs a youth center that can provide career counseling,drug and sex education,advocacy, job placement,workshops,ect. Rather then treating them as criminals let's give the a way out. Most Parents today cannot afford to send there children to camp or other activites, we need to pull together as a community and guide these children into a better further. Isn't that better then fenceing them out and calling the police. We have free activities for the young and the old but what do we have for our teens!
Rev. Gary Brinn July 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
No doubt the community could benefit from more youth programming. However, in the current political and economic environment, that seems very unlikely. To the credit of this community, most families find enough creative activities and provide enough supervision that we do not have a significant problem with idle teens. But no one, adult or minor, should be having sex out in the open. Property owners have to consider liability, the police have to enforce our laws, and the whole community should be concerned about these at-risk youths.
Kathleen July 17, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I agree no adult or teen should be having sex behind the library. However, that is not going to solve the problem of at-risk youth or youth in general. Yes, in our current economic and political climate the problem can be challenge. Therefore, I suggest opening up parts of your church as a youth center or writing a grant for a 504c and running a non-profit. If I could get the financial backing that is what I would try to do.Does anyone else have any ideas?
Rev. Gary Brinn July 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM
@Kathleen, as you may know, SCUCC hosts and subsidizes the local soup kitchen four nights a week and offers support to several twelve-step groups, so it's not quite as easy as throwing open the doors.. I am also working with the group seeking to develop a support system for the young adult (18+) population. However, if you have concrete ideas and the ability to write grants or raise funds, let's meet and see how we can support you!


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