Editorial: Sex offenders at large

Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley is hosting a public meeting Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Public Works building to inform the public about two more high risk sex offenders who may be moving to this area.

Sex offenders are one of our society’s most perplexing problems. We believe everyone deserves a second chance after paying their debt to society, but if they blow that chance people - often times children - are victimized. Our belief in the rule of law and personal redemption conflicts with our desire to protect the innocent, which should be paramount. That’s why the community is notified that a person with a history of sex offenses is moving into the neighborhood, even though he has served his time in prison. That person is getting as second chance at becoming a worthwhile citizen, but the public is given the knowledge it needs to protect the innocent. It seems to be the best possible solution short of throwing away the key every time we lock up a sex offender. That approach may be tempting but is both expensive and unfair.

Knowledge is the best defense against sex offenders who live in every community in the nation. So of you’re at all worried about the safety of yourself and your family, attend Sheriff’ Hawley’s meeting for the useful and worthwhile information it will provide.

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