Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Friday, July 29, 2005

What I Meant Was...

The title of my July 13, 2005, weblog post was It's Up to Us...Every One of Us. The title was intended to remind readers that when it comes to protecting ourselves, our family members, our friends, and our neighbors, it's up to us...every one of us. It is not exclusively law enforcement's job, though law enforcement has a critical role and obligation to participate. It is not exclusively the city and county governments' job, though they also have a critical role and obligation to enforce their respective zoning ordinances that help protect us.

In their July 23, 2005, article headlined Concerns raised about day care, The Spokesman Review staff writers Taryn Brodwater and Erica Curless reemphasized the point I was trying to make. In the article the writers noted that the Panhandle Health District (PHD) operates a child care resource center to provide information to care seekers. PHD knew the day care manager's husband was a convicted and registered sex offender, but the law prohibits PHD from directly disclosing that to inquiring parents. However, PHD did insert the publicly accessible Idaho State Police Registered Sex Offender information in the day care's file.

"Great," you say. "Good for PHD!" I agree completely, but here's the rub: According to Susan Cuff, PHD's spokesperson, very few parents searching for day care information check the files at PHD! Here was an example of a government agency acting very responsibly and very protectively, but it was parents or guardians, not the government, that failed any children who may have been victimized.

Now, parents and guardians may say, "Well, we didn't know about the PHD resource center." That's my point...it was their obligation to find out. Why in the world would any responsible parent or guardian entrust a child to anyone including not only private day care centers but also public institutions such as schools, churches, civic organizations, and public safety agencies without first thoroughly checking them out? You don't know how to check? Learn!

Folks, predators go where the prey can be found. Predators will try to find a way to associate themselves with apparently trustworthy organzations in order to gain access to their prey. See West tied to sex abuse in '70's, using office to lure young men, which notes that one of Spokane Mayor Jim West's accusors alleges Jim West molested him when West was a Spokane County sheriff's deputy and Boy Scout leader.

It's up to us...every one of us, to do everything in our power to identify the predators and limit their access to their prey.


Blogger Phil said...

It makes me sad, on an almost daily basis, to look around and see so many parents who seemingly don't care about their childrens' welfare. I see fathers who spend more time worrying about their golf game than whether their son is doing his homework.

I do everything I can. And then some. But I seem to be a minority, and that makes me shake my head.

4:56 PM, August 02, 2005  

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