Allenstown Police Chief Shaun Mulholland on Monday warned residents to beware of a "sexually dangerous" person who had moved into town. If Mulholland revealed the person's name, he would be violating federal law.
The vague warning has caused widespread fear throughout the small town of 5,000, as Mulholland has said he knew it would. But the chief has also said he felt the option of remaining silent was unacceptable.
"I had to weigh the risks of the fear that would be created with the fear that somebody would get hurt," Mulholland told the New Hampshire Union Leader earlier this week. "And I had to take that risk. If I did nothing and, God forbid, something happened to one of our residents, that would (be) intolerable."
This, of course, is fear-mongering plain and simple. Sex offender notices are regularly sent out in nearly every state. HIPAA is very clear when it comes to public safety disclosures.
In the same article, an official comments to the effect that this whole privacy thing may have gone too far. This, and a police levy are most likely the real impetus behind this ridiculous piece of drivel.