Opinion: Without ICE dungeon, Sheriff can focus on his job

May 25, 2021
To the editor, 
On May 2, 2020, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson declared that he would welcome an investigation of the events of May 1, 2020 at his ICE detention center.
The investigation found that the office “violated the civil rights of the detainees” by using “excessive force,” including “the use of a variety of less-lethal but dangerous weapons — including a flash bang grenade, pepper-ball launchers, pepper spray canisters, anti-riot shields, and canines — against detainees who had exhibited calm and nonviolent behavior for at least an hour before this operation.”
Hodgson’s immediate response was to not only reject the results of the investigation he initially supported, saying that he will take any of the AG’s recommendations about as seriously as trash “halfway down the sewer pipe,” but that he intended to defy the state’s highest lawyer and law enforcement official by demanding, “How dare she say she expects me to follow them.”

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas clearly explained the reason for the closure.

“We will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention,” he stated. “DHS detention facilities and the treatment of individuals in those facilities will be held to our health and safety standards. Where we discover they fall short, we will continue to take action as we are doing today.”

Hodgson, the Honorary Co-Chair of Trump’s Massachusetts re-election campaign, responded by repeating the refrain he uses to avoid responsibility and blame everyone else for his own shortcomings.
“This is nothing but a political hit job orchestrated by Sec. Mayorkas, the Biden administration and other anti-law enforcement groups to punish outspoken critics and advance their partisan agenda to score political points,” he said. 
No, Sheriff, you have failed not only the taxpayers for whom you work, but your staff who have had to bear the burden of following your poor and self-serving leadership.

We taxpayers pay Hodgson to do the job of Sheriff, not Junior G-Man. Without his Ice Dungeon, perhaps he will get back to doing that job.

Joe Quigley
New Bedford