By Sandy . . . So stated an email written by a staff member of the Little Rock Police Department and sent to all staff. She was apparently irritated that phone calls by or concerning registrants were erroneously being sent to her office. The issue was reported at KARK.com as was the fact that the police department is not happy with the staffer and is acknowledging that such communication is very inappropriate.
I am quick to respond to the negative handling of matters concerning registered persons, and I try to be equally diligent when something is done properly. In that spirit, I immediately sent the following to the Little Rock police chief and a copy to KARK.com:
Dear Little Rock Police Department:
NARSOL – the National Assc. for Rational Sexual Offense Laws – appreciates the Little Rock Police Dept. for taking seriously the inappropriate email sent by a staffer suggesting that those on the registry should be shot.
While we are aware that many hold this view, it is counter-productive to community safety and highly inappropriate for an employee of a law enforcement agency. Even the statement that appeared at KARK.com, “Yes, they are bad people,” is in error and damages public perceptions and overall public safety.
The vast majority of people on sex offender registries who are living in the communities are law-abiding and doing their best to achieve peaceful community integration and to support themselves and their families. They at one time did a bad thing; that does not mean that they are bad people for the rest of their lives. Research shows clearly that the risk of a sexual re-offense is extremely low and gets lower for each individual the longer he lives in the community offense-free.
While sexual abuse of children is a horrible reality, the facts are that virtually all such instances are committed by persons not on the registry nor a stranger living down the street but rather by those close to the victims in their everyday lives. A very significant percentage of sexual abuse of children is committed by family members.
If the phone calls being received in error by the secretary were from individuals who are on the registry, they are almost sure to be calling with questions or for information about their conditions. If this is the case, they are law-abiding citizens who want to stay that way. Registrants are often fearful of committing infractions and want to be sure of the rules governing every situation.
Thank you again for doing what you can do to dispel myths and blind hatred and to foster peacefulness for all law-abiding citizens.
Sandy Rozek, Communications, NARSOL
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.