Protesters Take On Broome Developmental Center Closure

Published 03/28 2014 11:15AM

Updated 03/28 2014 05:17PM

More than 100 people from around Greater Binghamton took to the streets to protest the proposed closing of the Broome Developmental Center late Thursday afternoon.
The rally was organized by former Broome County Legislator Dave Lindsey. Several politicians spoke and people walked back forth along government plaza in downtown Binghamton.

New York State wants to de-institutionalize people who have been living at the center in the Town of Dickinson.

The real concern for the protesters is the ongoing effort to move a group of alleged violent developmentally disabled people in community settings. They have been staying in a locked down jail-like unit. Some of those people have already been released.

Jerry Setzer's 32-year-old son had been in the BDC's Local Intensive Treatment locked down unit for five years before being released. Several months later, he committed a crime and is now in the Broome County Jail. Setzer believes the state is making a mistake in allowing certain people to go free.

"I don't think that he should have been released. I think that he was not prepared and maybe they should not close this place up," said Setzer.

Town of Dickinson Supervisor Mike Marinaccio was one of the politicians who spoke at the rally. The developmental center is in the town.

"All of us here know what the laws are. We know Megan's law, which was a good thing for all of us, but it needs to be tweaked now and changed. They have laws to protect sex offenders. We need more laws to protect us," said Marinaccio.

Local state representatives Senator Tom Libous and Assembly members Donna Lupardo and Cliff Crouch are appealing to the Governor's office to keep the locked down unit at the BDC open.

There are currently about 70 residents in there and according to county officials the state wants to release at least 30 more in the near future.

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