Aberdeen Police Chief Bob Torgerson, responding to questions at a recent neighborhood meeting about vagrants in the downtown vicinity, reminded the audience that “being homeless is not a crime, being a vagrant is not a crime, sitting around is not illegal.” Imagine “your grandmother” sitting on that bench, he said. They have rights just like everybody else does.
I find his statement about our grandmothers remarkable. While they occasionally might sit on a bench downtown, something I’m sure they would not be doing downtown, on our streets or in our alleys, is defecating or urinating.
Until we find a workable way of addressing this growing problem, I would like to suggest that the chief protect our rights by cleaning up after our guest’s rights.