Worcester, MA is concerned about the impact of neighboring towns’ sex offender residency restrictions. Worcester’s Councilor-at-Large, Kathleen Toomey, is asking the city manager to report on what the impact on the city could be.
Ms. Toomey said, â€œIâ€™m concerned about the impact on Worcester. â€¦ If those were enacted, does that mean that they would be moving to Worcester if they were not welcomed in their existing communities?â€œWorcester already has a fair number of existing sex offenders. I donâ€™t want us to have to take any more than we have to.â€
She seems cognizant of many of the problems associated with residency restrictions, including the fact that law enforcement finds it difficult to keep track of offenders forced to move out of their homes.
Ms. Toomey said she does not know what the city should do about the potential impact of sex offenders coming here.â€œIâ€™m not asking for anything,â€ she said. â€œI understand thereâ€™s a fine line between civil rights and protecting the citizens of the community.â€ Ms. Toomey said she is aware that some police fear that restrictions on where sex offenders can live could drive them underground and make them harder to keep track of.
â€œIâ€™m looking for information and a discussion,â€ she said.
If people get overly restricted where they live, Ms. Toomey said, it would be natural for them to move to a city the size of Worcester, where they could blend in anonymously.