NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — Sheriff James Voutour takes back some strong words he had for the New York State Division of Parole earlier this week.
Voutour had called out the department, claiming it failed to notify local agencies that parolee and level three sex offender, 64 year-old Larry Keiper of Niagara Falls, had removed his GPS ankle monitor and absconded.
2 On Your Side made several attempts Wednesday to reach the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which oversees the Division of Parole, to hear their side of this story.
Thomas Mailey, DOCCS Director of Public Information, sent the following response by e-mail, Friday afternoon:
From the time of notification that a GPS monitor had been tampered, the Department followed all proper internal protocols to establish parolee (Larry) Keiper was an absconder. An absconder warrant was promptly issued around 11:20 am and automatically available to all law enforcement throughout the state via the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. The Department also requested that the regional Niagara Crime Analysis Center create a "be on the look-out" (BOLO) alert for the absconded parolee, as it is the most efficient way to ensure local law enforcement is notified. The BOLO was successfully broadcast to all agencies in the area around 11:55 am. Simultaneously, DOCCS' Office of Special Investigations (OSI) was deployed in the field tracking down leads and working with law enforcement agencies, including the Niagara PD, NYS Park Police and US Marshalls. DOCCS cannot comment at this time on the specifics of this case as there is an ongoing criminal investigation.
Mailey added that the Niagara County Sheriff sits on the board that oversees the Niagara Falls Intelligence Center, which shares information with law enforcement within the area.
In an interview with the Niagara Gazette, Voutour admitted he and other high-ranking deputies within his office did not see the alerts sent out by the Division of Parole. Voutour attributes the oversight to "the deluge of Niagara Falls-related information coming out of the crime analysis center."
2 On Your Side attempted to reach out to Sheriff Voutour Friday evening, but could not reach him.