To the Editor:
Tent compounds have been popping up in various areas all around the country; Rhode Island and Warwick have had their fair share. As much as we all want to be sympathetic to the hard times some of the occupants are going through, we also share the NIMBY (not in my back yard) approach to how this is handled.
The Warwick Police have been called to many of these Tents and asked them to move on. However, their hands have been tied as to how much they can do. But as a resident I have to close my windows so not to smell the smoke of their smoldering fires at 1:00 a.m., look the other way when they release their bodily functions, watch them trash the area with litter and food containers and allow them to change their clothes in full view. Yes, the police do come and tell them not to litter, expose themselves, and put out their fires, but unless I want to take then to court and chance the repercussions, I doubt whether anyone will go that far.
We had four teenage boys set up a tent within a stone’s throw of my house over the Labor Day holiday. The police came and asked that they put out their fire and pick up their trash, but unless the police are going to camp with them the entire time, so the boys continued their party until they had to go so school the next day. There was also another tent set up close by where skull and crossbones were at the entry and disgusting litter around the tent. It took a while but eventually he moved on.
The questions we all have are valid: Are these people sex-offenders? Robbers? Drug Addicts? Pyros?
Can we go to sleep at night knowing our new neighbor, who just happened to move in next-door free and clear, is not going to do harm to you and your family. Yes, I can be sympathetic to those who have fallen on hard times, but we do have facilities and organizations our taxes fund to help out those in need. Why is it we have to allow anyone who wants to put up a tent on state or federal land do what ever they want? I would ask, if it was in your backyard would it bother you?