As the nation has now learned, on Thursday, August 31, a convicted murderer — also accused of murder in his home nation, Brazil — escaped from Chester County Prison.
The failure of our elected officials to ensure that policies and plans were in place to hold him in custody until he was transferred to state prison — or (my preference) extradited to Brazil — is inexcusable. This convicted murderer is here illegally and there is a warrant for his arrest in his native Brazil.
It’s yet another consequence of politicians who are not serious about securing our border, nor checking to see who is coming into our country, where they go or what they do while here.
The failure to notify the public immediately or promptly share his photo is unconscionable. It underscores the lack of understanding of the importance of law enforcement — protecting the “good guys” from the “bad guys.”
Their failure of waiting until day five to ask the State Police for help put innocent citizens at risk, interrupted education, closed local businesses, and stretched local law enforcement beyond their limits. The impacts are real. Our safety is at risk.
These failures are all the more compounded as we have now learned that this convicted murderer escaped by using the same escape plan and route that another inmate used in May of this year.
To be clear: this is not a case of “these things happen.” This very thing happened in May — escaping to the roof and leaping from building to building until outside the fence line. It should never have happened again. But it did, just three months later.
These things happen because too many Democrat politicians don’t take law enforcement and transparency seriously. They don’t believe in accountability or results. They believe in a cult-like ideology that is anti-police and pro-criminal.
They don’t see law enforcement as being focused on public safety. Too many believe that police are the problem. That we need to “understand” the criminals. They are willing to risk our safety just to promote their ideology.
De-fund the police. Allow police officers to be personally sued by the people they are charged with arresting. Give those charged and convicted of violent crimes to get a second or third or fourth chance. No cash bail.
Democrat politicians don’t want to secure our border because of a laundry list of reasons, rationales and excuses, some even wrapped in cult-like chants of social justice.
All the stuff they wonder and muse about at left-wing rallies, in social media and in their central-air conditioned dorm rooms, while they sip caramel macchiatos. All that stuff, they’ve put into practice in Portland, Philadelphia, and now in West Chester.
There are rumors of staffing issues at the prison. Police departments across Chester County have shortages. Do we really have to wonder why? Actions, policies, and rhetoric have consequences. Politicians yell and write about how police are the problem, and this is the result.
For too long, too many in the suburbs, including my own Chester County, have sat back and allowed this insanity to go unchecked. Some voters were angry at the GOP or President Trump. Some prioritized virtue-signaling issues, or went along with the new crowd. As a result, Chester County voters have given almost unlimited, unchecked power to Democrats from Devon to Kennett Square.
Some voters have seen the changes in our culture and law enforcement—and, while troubled, saw them as issues in far-away Portland, in Los Angeles, or in New York City. Some suburban voters saw the problems in our own Philadelphia, yet assumed that they were “Philadelphia problems” caused by Philadelphia politicians’ policies.
What too many didn’t recognize is that many Chester County Democrats were saying the same things, attending the same rallies and cheering on their ideological brethren in Portland, LA and Philadelphia and in social media posts. And they’ve been voting for those left-wing policies in Washington, Harrisburg and bringing them to West Chester and now impacting Kennett Square, Chadds Ford, and all of Chester County.
Sooner or later, suburban voters have to recognize that too many local Democrats have the same priorities as those left-wing politicians they see on TV and social media. They do not focus on outcomes or impacts. To them, politics is about ideology, intentions and feelings.
This latest failure was not “one of those things.” It’s a result of years of changes in priorities and policies led by Democrats. Actions have consequences. Bad actions — bad policies — have very bad consequences. Time to think about the consequences, who’s responsible, and how to respond.
The current County Commissioners Chair and Vice Chair — who appoint the prison warden and oversee the prison — want to be re-elected this November.
The District Attorney — the “chief law enforcement officer” in the county — wants to be elected judge this November.
The Sheriff — whose primary job is managing the transport and care of prisoners — wants to be elected judge this November.
Chester County voters have been moving away from the GOP and embracing or tolerating the far-left lurch of our local governments and our schools, with damaging consequences.
Do you trust this crowd with your family’s safety?
Guy Ciarrocchi formerly served as a Deputy Attorney General for Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation; and writes for Broad+Liberty and RealClear Pennsylvania. Follow him at @PaSuburbsGuy.