After doing a drive-by to show my in-laws our potential house, the response was positive. My parents were driven by it weeks ago and they had the same response. When people ask me what town I am moving to, people react less-than-enthusiastically. I have even found myself making little jokes about that I am moving from one white-trash town to a white-trash town with water views.
The town has a lousy reputation for being laden with drug dealers, dog-fighting rings and sex offenders. This gets perpetuated by others, including myself up until recently, through poking fun at the area. I have since stopped, not only because I am choosing to move there, but because I am getting a different perspective. Driving through my soon-to-be town, I have only come across friendly people who are quick to give a smile and a wave hello. They proudly keep their properties nicely landscaped and loved. The houses, though on the smaller side (it's a beach-bungalow type area), are unique and beautiful; a far cry from the cookie-cutter suburban towns that have cropped up all over Long Island in the past twenty years.
After a bunch of research of local and wider news sources, I could not find any evidence of dog-napping or fighting in the area. I had spied this rumor in the comment section of an online news article, which gave me a moment of panic thinking that someone might try to nab my sweet Boddington, but my fears were eased with the lack of evidence in news sources.
As for the number of sex offenders, yes the extended area has quite a few. However, looking at the levels of their crimes and their related victims, these are not high risk of recidivism SOs. I have worked with sex offenders in a lock-down program as well as a few in outpatient treatment. I do not harbor any unnecessary fear. I also believe that it is not the registered offenders you have to worry about as much as the ones that haven't been caught or haven't committed their first offense. I don't believe a parent should trust anyone they don't know with their children.
The town does have it's share of problems but that is why they recently voted to become an incorporated village. There is a large portion of hard-working, good honest people that want to improve the town in actuality and in image. So do I. No longer am I going to joke about the town I am moving to. I am proud to be becoming a resident and I am going to use my camera to start sharing the beauty that is within the borders. No longer will I perpetuate negativity, only joy.