I am shocked to learn that new state regulations permit halfway homes for sex offenders to be located near schools and playgrounds as long as the law enforcement response time for the site is five minutes or less, (“Sex-offender housing rules set: New state policy based on police response time,” Nov. 18). Do elected officials not understand that children can be attacked, raped and killed in far less than five minutes – or do they just not care about our children?
DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock’s statement that “It is all about balancing those needs, the need for public safety and concern of the public with the needs of the (offenders) program,” is outrageous and unacceptable. Clearly, offenders’ needs for therapy services, training, jobs, etc., take a (far) back seat to the need to ensure the safety, indeed to protect the lives, of our children. This is not a matter open for negotiating or prioritizing by elected or appointed officials in Olympia.
Braddock’s comment this is “just an issue that gets to the very heart of people’s passions” is accurate because it is our deepest passion to keep our children out of harm’s way. We become even more passionate when those we elect and employ place them in harm’s way.
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