Thursday, July 21, 2011

Legislative Overreach Following Leiby Kletzky's Murder

Following the brutal murder of 8-year old Leiby Kletzky that shook even the hardened New York City Police Department with the shocking brutality and dismemberment of his body by admitted killer Levi Aron, politicians are rushing to fill a perceived gap.
Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield is proposing "Leiby's Law," under which businesses could volunteer to be designated as safe places for children who are lost or otherwise in trouble.

Employees would undergo background checks and business owners would put a green sticker in their store windows so children know it's a safe place to get help.

Lawmakers and community leaders gathered to tout the idea on the street in Borough Park where where 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was last seen alive.

"We are hopeful and optimistic that thousands will sign up," Greenfield said.

Borough Park stores were quick to pledge support.
Considering that many businesses, like grocery stores and supermarkets, have a pretty constant turnover of employees, trying to manage or enforce the safe haven sticker program is hopeless.

This law would not have stopped this particular murder - and wouldn't stop someone from picking an unattended child off the streets. It doesn't resolve any of the issues involved.

Moreover, the law would not have addressed a situation like Aron - who until his arrest for Kletzky's murder had not had a criminal record (other than a public urination citation). This would not have come up in a background check on any business that Aron worked for - meaning that a vulnerable child could still come in contact with Aron.

No, instead of yet another reactionary law to a horrific event, the response should be for parents to help their kids understand the threats and how to identify where to go for help. A voluntary local business group program makes more sense than one managed in the fashion being suggested by the politicians.

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