LETTERS: DougCo’s extradition of homeless to Aurora is concerning, unfair

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Editor: As a resident of that sliver of Aurora that falls in Douglas County, I was truly saddened and mortified when I learned that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is dumping homeless prisoners in Aurora when their released from the county jail (as covered by the Denver Channel.)

Aurora’s city government is one of the poorest in the state (we don’t have a Park Meadows). But even if Douglas County ponied up a big wad of cash, our non-profits simply do not have the capacity for more homeless – a fact that the Sheriff’s plan wrongfully assumes. We’re already in crisis and the Sheriff knows this.

Further, the law-abiding people of Aurora are at their limit with panhandlers, the homeless and the accompanying spike in property crime. Now Sheriff Spurlock has dumped gasoline on the fire — albeit somewhat out of necessity.

The problem: Both the residents and leadership of Douglas County haven’t come to grips with the fact homelessness is exploding and can’t be simply willed away or dumped elsewhere. None of us can rightfully claim NIMBY. Sorry but Douglas County isn’t immune and the problem continues to grow. As a resident and homeowner, I’m calling on the Douglas County Commissioners to step up and own this—and just not with outreach and hand-wringing. You and the county’s non-profits need to build and staff shelters—just like every other moderately populated county.

Mayor Coffman has suggested involving the legislature which I would fully support, but the delay is concerning. Should Douglas County not immediately reverse course and deal with its own problem, I would propose full and immediate retribution at a ratio of 3:1. The city of Aurora, together with Adams and Arapahoe counties should use any available funds to immediately start booking motel rooms in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch and Parker for our soon-to-be-released inmates. Give them rooms for 60 days so they can get a fresh start in Douglas County.

Sorry but Aurora’s not rolling over. For each released homeless convict Douglas County transports to Aurora, three should be expected in return.

 

Jeff Brown, via [email protected]

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