Opinion: Sheriff again ignoring his responsibilities

Aug 30, 2021

To the editor:

Once again Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s energy, attention and resources have been concentrated on his personal ego and agenda rather than on the job he was elected to do.

While Hodgson is complaining and leading a small cohort of other sheriffs to change the leadership at the Department of Homeland Security primarily as a result of the Federal Government’s disengagement between him and ICE another suicide has occurred at the Bristol County Jail

As reported in the news this suicide occurred within 24 hours of the victim’s incarceration. 

This is eerily reminiscent of two other suicides at the Bristol facilities: one in 2013 and one in 2015 in which, according to Superior Court complaints filed by their estates, these men gave specific warnings that they would commit suicide if sent to the Bristol jail.

Under Hodgson’s leadership the Bristol County House of Correction has led the state in the number of suicides historically.

From an humanitarian as well as a financial perspective these suicides are an outrage, and probably avoidable if proper protocols and concerns were in play.

For a sheriff who reflexively answers every criticism, condemnation and law complaint with “I am sworn to protect the community,” his actions and inactions again prove his dedication to himself rather than those entrusted to his supervision, those who are in his employ and to the general public and families that pay for all his misdeeds.

It is now time for him to retire or resign before more ignominy is added to his legacy. If this does not happen, the voters have the opportunity to resoundingly remove him from office in 2022.

Betty Ussach,