Police Nab a Girl Playing within Eyesight of Her House

Why would the police nab a girl? If they were worried, then why not take her home?

Generally, areas with decent law enforcement and low crime rates want to enjoy the security they have. The point in lowering the crime rate is to have more freedom. It could be the freedom to leave patio furniture on your patio knowing that it will probably not be taken by someone. It could be the freedom to not have to lock your car door in a store parking lot so you don’t have to go through the hassle of unlocking it when you come back with groceries. And it could be the freedom to let your seven-year-old daughter play in the park that is within eyesight of your house.

But then there is the other safety issue that Lenore Skenazy reports: “Mom Charged With Endangerment for Letting 7-Year-Old Play in Park Right Across the Street.”

A 7-year-old in Westbrook, Maine, was playing at the park within eyesight of her family’s house. Someone called 911 (of course) and the police swooped in. They took the girl to the precinct because, as this WMTW reporter notes, “Mom wasn’t watching.”

What? Mom didn’t devote her afternoon to sitting at the side of the park and watching her child’s every move?  Tsk, tsk. The child was on her own for about an hour, and as Police Chief Janine Roberts told the reporter, “That’s a long time for a 7-year-old girl to be by herself any place, let alone a park.”

Yes, the park is certainly the last place you’d ever want to see a kid hanging out. What kind of crazy mom would let her child go there?

The mother’s name is Nicole Jensen. She stressed that her kids check in with her every hour, and the park is usually filled with other parents, who take turns watching each other’s children.

Jensen has been charged with child endangerment.

Skenazy notes the irony of the police chief expressing happiness that mother and daughter could be “re-united,” when the only reason they were divided from each other was because of the police taking the child. If it is really dangerous to allow a child to play in a public park, wouldn’t it be sensible to return her to the home and notify the parents of the danger. Obviously, they think it is safe or else they wouldn’t have let her play there in the first place.

[See also, “Florida Soviet Grabs Kid from Front Yard.”]

Also, if the park is so dangerous, why aren’t the police doing something about it? Why should the police nab a girl when they should be using manpower to catch criminals?