Reduction in crime will

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 2, 2000

require working together

More crime on our city’s streets, evidenced by the numerous reports in recent weeks, means that the Troy Police Department’s decision to re-instate community watch programs makes more sense than ever.

All too often, we count on our political and law enforcement leaders to combat crime and make our homes and neighborhoods safe from what seems to be an increasingly unfriendly world.

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Law enforcement, many people say, is the responsibility of our police department and our sheriff’s department. And in a perfect world, perhaps that statement rings true.

But if there is any lesson that we have learned as intelligent beings over the years, it’s that this is not a perfect world and the sole responsibility of fighting crime cannot rest on one person or organization.

In fact, it can’t rest on a group of organizations and individuals. Reality tells us that keeping our communities safe is the responsibility of us all, something that signifies the term "community."

As members of a united system of government, we have formed communities where we rely on the resources of small groups to contribute to the whole. We ask that each person give something to these communities in order to earn his or her keep. Some choose to provide services, while others supply us with products we need. And a select few decide they can do the most good by trying to protect the rest of us harm.

But in these times, we must realize that law enforcement cannot accomplish their mission without our help. Without our many eyes and ears and brains to help them, law enforcement lose touch with our neighborhoods and homes due to the incredible number of these they must serve.

That is where we can all help. By taking note of strange happenings on our streets and in our neighborhoods, we can help them keep us and our neighbors safe.

The Neighborhood Watch Program tests us. Asking that we make use of our senses and our common sense, law enforcement officers relish the idea that we can help better do their jobs.

And we must help.

Armed robberies have hit Troy hard in recent weeks with many people reporting incidents to police. Suspects are still at large. This means that until those individuals are removed from our streets none of us are safe. Whether we are walking out to our cars, going out for a shopping trip, parking in a commercial parking lot or walking on the street in front of our homes, we are not safe.

There is no way that we can be guaranteed safety and the probability is high that once one robber is caught, another will step up to fill his or her shoes. It’s a sad reality.

But every time one of these vermin is apprehended, police decrease the likelihood of additional robberies and send a message to would-be criminals who are still at large. The message rings loud and clear, "We will not tolerate your kind here."

Take advantage of the Neighborhood Watch Program and become an active participant in it. By working together, we can accomplish many good things – including getting crime out of our community.

March 1, 2000 10 PM