Survivor group asks for child safety committee

Members of the group Survivors of Bill Sheehan have asked selectmen to form a committee that would have one mission: child safety accountability, according to the Rev. Bill Dudley, the support group’s leader. The survivors group was formed last year after dozens of allegations of sexual abuse were raised against the former teacher, scout leader, and swim coach who worked with children in town for two decades and is said to have also sexually abused untold numbers of them during that time. While the state investigation into Sheehan ended last month with no prosecution because of his advanced dementia, officials said, local police are still on the case and efforts are underway to train school and town employees in abuse detection and prevention. In his remarks, Dudley, the Union Church pastor, asked selectmen to “cast the widest net possible” to train the community itself to help stamp out child abuse. “Somehow, this can not die out as the name Sheehan fades into memory,” Dudley said. Selectmen said they would discuss the issue with the group at a future meeting.