Enough is enough

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

In the wake of the Woodland Hills fiascos, the surrounding community has literally been given excuses and promises of looking into solutions to combat the problem. Well, enough is enough. The only options acceptable are shutting down the facility or securing the facility as a severe lockdown residence. The residents in the area have been victimized, traumatized and trivialized. It is not debatable that this onslaught of domestic terrorism will be tolerated anymore.

Everyone has the right to live in a community where they can feel safe and secure. This has been an option that has not been possible with the rights of the detainees at Woodland Hills overriding those of decent law abiding, taxpaying citizens. The surrounding community refuses to be held captive anymore by officials advocating keeping this facility in our community. The surrounding community consisting of a large number of retired citizens is outraged and psychologically damaged with the fear of impending danger. The mental turmoil and duress generated by the recent breakouts is immeasurable on the residents. No one should have to live under those conditions.

Ironically, no one has been physically harmed or killed in the community, no thanks to those who claim they are doing everything possible to stabilize the facility. The verdict is out. The community has concluded the facility will never fully guarantee protection. It should be no surprise there is a lack of confidence by the community. The detention center should never have been approved with these levels of juveniles with multiple felons being housed. No community in their right mind would openly accept this liability unless they were duped or misled. I wonder on whose watch was this decision made? Who profited, and did it have the backing of the community?

The anger, anxiety, and fear of those in the neighborhood have only been exacerbated by the latest escape of 13 juveniles from the facility inundating our community. The most alarming and shocking part is that the community was in harm’s way without knowing what was happening until several hours after the escape, if knowing at all. Can you imagine escapees with numerous felons roaming outside your homes?

How would you feel if this avoidable scenario was taking place in your neighborhood? How would you feel if you found the uniform of the last of the missing escapees in your backyard? Better yet, how would you feel when you inform the police and only one police car arrives? How would you feel if the police confirmed that the uniform confiscated was that of the escapee? Yet no other police were called to investigate the scene or check for the safety of those in the immediate location.

I know how my family felt when this happened to us. After several phone calls, I was able to get one police to come back and check on some of the neighbors. Common sense told me it was possible that the escapee could be in someone’s home or in the immediate area unless someone had brought him a change of clothes.

Unbelievably, I was originally given excuses. It was “unrealistic” for me to think they could canvass the proximity, but “rest assured” that they were following proper policies and procedures to find the escapee. I got a reality check on how our community is really looked upon and treated. I find it hard to believe this would have happened in a predominately White community. But then again, what do I know?

The final analysis is that enough is enough, and those advocating to desensitize the community to the real dangers of housing Woodland Hills should be viewed as our adversaries. This list may consist of professed community leaders, council representatives, and local government officials. So these puppets should save their contrived rhetoric and get out of the community’s way, so this albatross may be remedied. The only options are to shut down the facility or make it a severe lockdown facility by whatever means necessary. Surely the mayor and the governor should be instrumental in helping to stop making Woodland Hills the laughing stock of youth detention centers throughout the whole country.