It seems that ever since a man with a lengthy history of violent crime in Massachusetts was arrested for killing a Manchester, New Hampshire police officer, every Sunday brings a new story slamming the lax way Massachusetts handles violent criminals.
And today is no exception.
This morning’s Union Leader (New Hampshire’s only state-wide newspaper) has a story citing a number of high law enforcement officials discussing with dismay the National Crime Information Center, a federal clearing-house for information on wanted criminals, and Massachusetts’ participation in it.
Or, rather, non-participation.
In theory, whenever a warrant is issued by any state or local authority, it is entered into the NCIC database. Then, whenever the police have an official contact with someone, they can check with NCIC to see if they’re wanted anywhere.
That’s the theory. In Massachusetts, it’s the exception.
According to New Hampshire officials, for every Massachusetts warrant entered into NCIC, roughly 19 more are not. That means that if a police officer stops a suspect wanted in Massachusetts, they have a 95% chance of not knowing that the person is a fugitive — and just might violently resist.
Massachusetts officials are busily addressing the problem — which means, in the Bay State dialect, means “trying to blame each other.”
And in the meantime, the danger continues.