Sex offender loophole
As I read the news story concerning the sex offender loophole (Boston Herald, Feb. 14), I noticed that the City Council is talking about a public hearing on a loophole that allows sex offenders to register as homeless in public places such as the Boston Common. City Councilor Michael Flaherty states this loophole “puts the public at a huge disadvantage when trying to protect children from sex predators.”
According to the Herald, more than 200 city sex offenders including 75 Level 3s are on the lam after failing to register and 175 have registered as homeless. I think the hearing may help push Beacon Hill to actually investigate this serious issue of homeless sexual predators.
As a retired police officer with 28 years of service with the Department of Mental Health, I saw first hand all the issues regarding released sex offenders back in the community. Many of these leveled offenders often live in many of the Boston area homeless shelters. At one, I found upwards of 55 percent of the homeless residents were sex offenders.
The whole system of registering with local police departments is easier said than done. The restrictions placed upon this somewhat dangerous at times segment of the population never took into account, if you don’t have an apartment and if you aren’t in a shelter, where are you.
Where does a say a Level 3 those deemed most dangerous to re-offend go to register if they have no address to register at? There is nothing in the present law requiring these sex offenders to have an actual address. If they are living on the streets, where do they live, on the street?
How do we keep track of homeless sex predators? Where are they living on Thursday, the same place they lived yesterday or the same place they plan on living tomorrow?
It is tough enough to track those doing the right thing by registering, what’s to be done with homeless predators?
Once again it points out how bad public policy is created and implemented when it doesn’t deal with every aspect of the policy when put into law. The public thinks the system is working but most of the time, it is all just pretend solutions to calm the public and giving them a false security.
I hope if this public hearing is held, that the city councilors push hard to find workable solutions making society safer. We don’t need more useless solutions.
East Boston resident
Space savers anarchy
At a press conference on Feb. 10 Mayor Walsh declared that threats posted on space-savers would cause the savers to be confiscated. “I just made up that rule right now!” he added. The next morning my neighbor asked if I had security cameras, since overnight her tires had been flattened. The space she had shoveled had been taken and she had moved to an empty one.
In the narrowest sense the mayor had the right thought. But the evil he is party to is when political leaders try to make up law to suit themselves. With no statute about space savers, a public official’s only proper comment is: “You put one out at your own risk.”
Whether it happens in Boston or Washington, making up law on the fly is a bad idea.
David A. Mittell, Jr.
Jamaica Plain resident
City’s women workforce report lacking
The City of Boston’s report outlining how women are underrepresented and underpaid in our workforce is an important start to addressing sexism [Mayor Walsh’s Op-Ed 2/3/17]. The report’s glaring omission of race, however, should have been at least acknowledged by Mayor Walsh in his Op-Ed. Pew Research shows that when compared to the median hourly wage of white men nationwide, Asian women earn 85 percent, White women earn 82 percent, Black women earn 65 percent, and Latina/Hispanic women earn 58 percent. We urgently need to address both this institutional racism and sexism as a city and as a community and nation, and acknowledging them both is the first step in addressing them both.
Jamaica Plain resident