Rotarians hear from enforcers of the law

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Law enforcement is sworn “to protect and to serve” but private citizens also need to do their part in keeping themselves, their families, their communities and their towns safe.

That’s the message that the Brundidge Rotarians heard from Troy Police Department Captain Danny Barron and Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas on Wednesday.

Barron told the Rotarians that when making a 911 call, it is very important that the caller answer all the questions as completely as possible.

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“Although the caller feels a need to get off the phone as quickly as possible, the information they give is valuable because the dispatcher is our eyes and ears when we are on the way,” Barron said.

Being the eyes and ears in one’s own neighborhood is a way to prevent crimes before they happen.

“Anytime that you see anything that is slightly out of place, it’s a good idea to call the police,” Barron said. “If there’s an unoccupied car or a stranger walking in the neighborhood, it’s a good idea to have it checked out.”

Barron said, when approached by someone with a deal that seems too good to be true, it usually is.

“You need to be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “If you’re walking to your car or to another location while talking on your cell phone, you aren’t aware of what’s going on around you. You should make eye contact with people and be aware of who is around you and what’s going on.”

Barron said that when homeowners are going to be out of town for several days, most police departments will put an extra patrol around the house during that time if asked.

Thomas stepped in to address the continuing drug problem in Pike County.

“Every now and then, we have a drug lull,” he said. “About six months ago, we went through a time like that. Not much was happening. Then, it exploded again – marijuana and crack cocaine. We can’t become complacent. If we do, drugs will overrun us.”

Thefts are also on the rise, especially, enticing to thieves are computers, firearms and jewelry.

“You should always be aware,” Thomas said. “Always thinking and always looking, because thieves are thinking and looking.”

Thomas said the prisons are full and the county jails are full.

“Law enforcement has more than it can do,” he said. “Crime is alive and well. It will never go away. Crime is like weeds. You can beat it down and it comes right back up. So, we ask our citizens to be pro-active rather than reactive. And to never become complacent. That’s the best way that citizens can help in the fight against crime.”