Mansfield is not immune

There are a number of social issues we see in the headlines on a daily basis that exist right here in Mansfield MA, and for the most part I’m not convinced my fellow citizens are aware of them.

Human trafficking: This is a great example of how something folks find alarming yet improbable can exist. Unfortunately due to our location 02048 has in fact experienced use as a “station” along various trafficking routes. Fortunately this particular family of criminality has a dedicated element of law enforcement that diligently attempts to interdict it. The MPD and other regional agencies have been involved in a number of areas to address this issue. Not only with investigation and enforcement but also education and planning programs targeting potential victims in the hope to positively impact their lives.

Drugs: No matter if you take a strong enforcement view,a pure social/public health view or a mix clearly every level of drug activity has been present in town. Sales, use, distribution, discarded needles, manufacturing locations and a linked homicide have occurred here since I’ve been here and most very recently so.

Homelessness: The past couple of years has shown that an issue probably unthought of here in town actually exists. Whether the evidence I’ve personally seen is pure transient persons in nature or that person(s) have in fact taken to permanent rough shelter here in Mansfield I can tell you it is happening.

DUI: This last one is one I’m confident people are fully aware of but it still bears mentioning. A number of the attributes residents find appealing about Mansfield, most importantly the roadway access is also a key to this issue. Sticking with just alcohol for now, anyone who has ever walked around town and seen the nip bottles and other beverage containers know where they came from. Sadly not likely from the throngs of pedestrians pulsing through our thoroughfares [sarcasm].

All of these issues enjoy varying levels of interest at all levels of government. That said awareness and dialogue at the local level is absolutlely crucial in my opinion. As Mansfield undertakes the Master Plan Update I hope people bring an awareness of these issues to the table and include them along with the other worthy concerns to truly develop a vision for Mansfield’s future.