Earlier this week, the Southborough Police Department acknowledged mistakes were made in allowing a registered Level 2 sex offender to take up residence just a few doors down from a preschool, despite a town bylaw prohibiting it. In an effort to prevent future violations of the bylaw, the police have reviewed and updated their procedures related to registered sex offenders.
You can read more about the changes being made in this statement by Chairman of the Board of Selectmen John Rooney.
Good afternoon. I write to update you since my earlier correspondence.
Since Tuesday, October 2, 2012, I have had many conversations with Chief Jane Moran, and have met with the Chief Moran, Lieutenant Sean James, Officer Rick Mattioli and numerous other members of our Police Department. I can assure you that the Police Department’s commitment to the safety to the residents of Town is, has always been, and fully remains, their number one priority, and their passion in performing those duties is unparalleled.
In an effort to prevent sex offenders from recidivating, in 2008 our Town passed a residency restriction to keep sex offenders away from children. The underlying rationale draws a causal link between proximity of sex offenders to children and the propensity of recidivism. Opportunity and accessibility play a large role determining whether a sex offender reoffends, and our by-law attempts to limit both. Whether one agrees or disagrees with a link between sexual recidivism and residential proximity is irrelevant; that is the underlying reason for the residency restriction in our by-law.
As a result of this incident, a comprehensive investigation has taken place and the following has transpired: Effective immediately, Lieutenant Sean James is now the contact person with the Sex Offender Registry Board and the Lieutenant is near completion of a written formal policy putting in place a systematic process for compliance with all state statutes, rules, regulations, and our Town’s by-laws. Believing oversight of the sex offender regulations is a detective function, the Detective Supervisor will now be assigned oversight of the sex offender statutes, rules, regulations and Town by-laws. Additionally, and as part of the forthcoming policy, a written list and a map depicting the restricted zones will be on file and posted in the Southborough Police Department, Town Hall and available on the Town’s website. The list and map will identify not only the restricted zones of schools, day-care centers, parks, and elderly housing, but will also identify school bus stops and recreational facilities. Proactive interviews of registered sex offenders will become commonplace, not just at the time of their initial registration, but regularly thereafter.
All current registered sex offenders in town are in compliance with state regulations and our Town’s by-laws. And, let us not lose site of the fact that Mr. Goichman is currently incarcerated in the Worcester House of Correction as a result of a joint effort between the State Police and the Southborough Police.
Finally, the intimation that one person, specifically Officer Mattioli, someone who has professionally served this town for thirty-five years, is the individual to blame for the failure to enforce the Town’s by-law, is completely inaccurate, utterly unfair and fully irresponsible. Officer Mattioli’s ascendency to the pedestal of infamy is an injustice that must be corrected. The failure was not an individual failure but a process and policy failure by the Town. This failure was identified, addressed, and no longer exists. It is time to move forward with this issue, as the more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets. Take comfort in knowing an experienced, devoted and highly professional department continues to police our town.