We don't want it
Editor of the Reformer:
On Tuesday, Nov. 24, Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark gave a presentation on the rehabilitation of an existing building, centrally located in the village of Bellows Falls to the village trustees and the Rockingham Selectboard. The purpose of this rehab and redevelopment is to house criminal detainees, both federal and state, for up to 18 months, in addition to the training and education of said detainees as they transition in and out of the system. An ankle-monitoring program will also be implemented, and will allow criminals to roam the streets of the village unsupervised and at will, while our residents go to work and our children walk the streets to and from school each day, all within feet of this facility.
Yes, it is true the Windham County Sheriff will also be located in the same building, but who will be protecting us every minute of the day with criminals walking the streets? Cruisers will be coming and going, but will not have the time or wherewithal to patrol our neighborhoods to keep us safe. We will have to rely on our current village police department to do that, without more manpower or resources. With the plan to house 45 or so detainees and the number of passively monitored residents unknown, the community burden could be overwhelming.
Why would Sheriff Clark and the detention center's legislative supporter Jeannette White want to turn our community into a social pariah? A plan such as this will encourage more residents to sell their homes or walk away from mortgages, and discourage new families and businesses from settling in our community. Many years ago Rockingham said no to a prison. How small the degree of difference is to that same design.