Friday, February 21, 2014
West Seneca sex offenders
Many West Seneca residents were shocked to hear that a house for developmentally disabled adults on Leydecker Road was being used to house seven registered sex offenders. The state was in error for not notifying residents as to who their new neighbors would be. However, had they notified them, the residents would never have allowed it to happen. The bigger question is, why did the state decide to place the seven men in such a residential location in the first place? I have to side with the neighbors on this one.
Having said that, I don't think it was necessary for the Front Page newspaper to post their pictures on the front of this week's paper. One of the guys had a huge smile, as if he was getting his picture taken for his birthday.
I've worked with developmentally disabled adults for the past twelve years and I believe I know the population pretty well. The seven from this house are different than the pervert down the street who knows what he is doing and plots his illicit activities. The developmentally disabled are often unaware of the severity of their actions, until they are caught and punished. Then, they find out real quick. In fact, at my last agency, there was a house like this way out in a rural area. Everyone wanted to work there, because they had extra staff and there were hardly any behavior incidents to deal with. The residents were well behaved and it was an easy gig. But this house wasn't near any schools or parks, which made it a good location for the agency.
Although I'd bet these seven men are not as dangerous as advertised, I wouldn't want them to live next door to me, either. All it takes is one incident. The agencies are always saying that the developmentally disabled are people like everyone else and should be treated the same. This works both ways. Society would never approve of non-disabled sex offenders living in their neighborhood. Why should disabled sex offenders be treated differently? Although their intentions might not be as malicious as the former, the result could end up being the same. It's not an easy group to place, but these are decisions that the higher ups get paid the big bucks to make. I think it's best to error on the side of caution.