The news that a patient who was convicted of manslaughter and assault was able to escape from Creedmoor Psychiatric Center is alarming enough. The news from nearby civic groups that they were not notified by the center about his escape seems downright negligent.
A statement from 14 civic groups near Creedmoor was sent out last Sunday, expressing their dismay that someone with such a violent past was able to escape simply by switching clothes. They were also shocked that they were not notified by the facility, ostensibly their neighbor, instead having to rely on news sources for information. As such, they published a seven-point plan on what Creedmoor could do to make sure this scenario does not happen again. One of those bullet points is for a Community Notification Protocol to provide alerts for dangerous situations.
After this latest incident, such an alert seems like a must-have for Creedmoor and the surrounding communities. There is no reason such a mechanism was not already in place, given that the center does house some violent characters. While the Office of Mental Health is in the midst of an investigation to see how the escape happened within Creedmoor’s walls, we hope they will remember that such incidents can be dangerous to the community outside their walls.
The communities deserve to know when a problem occurs. Such a notification system could save someone’s life.