Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jun 2002
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2002 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: only publishes letters from state residents.
Author:  Hermis Yanis Jr.


It was reported (Telegram & Gazette, May 29) that the Worcester City 
Council agreed to provide the Public Inebriate Program (now People in 
Peril) of Worcester with $137,040 next fiscal year.

City Councilor Juan Gomez was quoted as saying, "Drug dealing is still 
taking place there. We should consider withholding funding until that 
organization cleans up its act." Mr. Gomez seems to imply that the 
organization is responsible for the drug dealing occurring in the area, 
which is part of the Main South neighborhood.

To suggest that a program which helps homeless and down-and-out citizens is 
condoning criminal activity, and to further suggest that the city of 
Worcester withhold funds (which incidentally are embarrassingly low to 
begin with) until PIP performs a job that rests squarely on the shoulders 
of the Worcester Police Department is not only ridiculous, it's immoral and 
without respect for the citizens of Worcester.

I would suggest that maybe funding should be withheld from the Worcester 
Police Department until they do the job that's theirs to begin with. Drug 
dealing is a crime. It's the responsibility of the police to take control 
of the drug dealing in Worcester, not organizations and/or private 
businesses. I worked to re-elect Mr. Gomez because I believed he would help 
represent the citizens of Worcester and the Hispanic community in 
particular. I'm shamed to read his willingness to punish homeless citizens 
for the dealings of a few scum, and to attempt to shift the weight of 
enforcement onto the businesses of Worcester. He has lost a hardworking, 
dedicated campaign worker.

HERMIS YANIS Jr., Worcester
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