Citizens are the eyes, ears of communityPublished 12:04am Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Approximately 1,500 miles separate North Pearl Street in Natchez from Franklin Street in Watertown, Mass.
But the two residential streets have one thing in common — sharp-eyed citizens willing to thwart suspected criminals.
Much ado has been made about the Watertown resident who found a suspected terrorist hiding in his boat. The man wisely called police, and within hours the suspected Boston Marathon bomber was behind bars.
Similarly, an eagle-eyed Natchez resident spotted a man, a teenager really, trying to break into her house. She, too, quickly called police and let them move in for the arrest.
Comparing a suspected thief in Natchez to a bomber may be a stretch. The thief was stealing, not killing, but such a crime could easily have become deadly. Residents in that area — some of whom were burglarized multiple times — certainly felt terrorized by the burglar.
While each case is different, the common thread is something worth highlighting. Despite their best efforts, thousands of police in Boston had been unable to locate the suspect. It took a regular Joe to help the police.
The same thing happened on North Pearl Street in Natchez.
Police depend upon the help of law-abiding citizens to be their eyes and ears in the community. If everyone in the community took that role seriously, and reported everything suspicious that is seen and heard, our community would almost certainly become a safer place.