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.