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Neighbors react to violent offenders in Cornelius

Review board should have told neighbors of Connell House details

I highly resent the state Psychiatric Security Review Board's handling of the facilities for the criminally insane people they are mainstreaming.

It is totally unfair to the citizens of Oregon not to inform them of the release of these people into our neighborhoods. The Connell House in Cornelius is only the first of many.

It is also totally unfair to the victims of the heinous crimes these people have committed. A judge and jury committed these people to serve a sentence in the State Hospital and this Review Board should have no legal right to commute their sentences.

It is downright insane for the governor and the legislature to close down a mental facility without a safe and acceptable alternative. Their solution is not safe and it is not acceptable. We are citizens too. We should have more citizen rights than criminals.

The governor should rescind the court order downsizing and mainstreaming the criminally insane and put them in special criminally insane cellblocks where they belong. They do not deserve our company and we certainly do not deserve theirs.

Barbara Godfrey

Cornelius

City officials failed to warn residents of danger

I want to thank Sheriff Rob Gordon of the Washington County Sheriff's Office for stepping up to protect the citizens of Cornelius by passing out fliers on Dec. 28. The fliers notified the community that there is a new residence for convicted violent offenders in Cornelius.

No city officials were willing to lead or assist in any effort to notify the public of this potential danger.

This residence was established by the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board several months ago; however, no notifications were ever made to residents of the neighborhood informing them that convicted murderers, arsonists and sex offenders were living nearby.

When I learned of this facility, I attempted to contact the mayor of Cornelius and the city manager to discuss the situation; neither would return my calls.

As the former mayor of Cornelius and as a law enforcement officer with 23 years of experience, I believe it is the duty of government entities to protect the citizens and not put them in harm's way.

While I agree that we need to have secure facilities for these individuals, putting them in residential neighborhoods near children and schools is not the answer.

The state plans to open seven more of these residences throughout Oregon - the next one might be in your neighborhood. Don't wait, get involved. We need better solutions and secure facilities for these individuals.

My sincere thanks to Sheriff Gordon for doing what elected officials are supposed to do - protect the citizens from potential danger.

For more information on this subject, please visit the Sheriff's Office web site at www.co.washington.

or.us/sheriff.

Terry Rilling

Cornelius