Reducing crime takes effort from all

Published 12:08 am Thursday, October 25, 2007

Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis has the right idea about the need to reduce crime in our community. But she cannot fix the problem.

Neither can the mayor nor can any other member of government.

The police chief can’t do it by himself, either.

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The fact is none of us can “fix” crime. It’s a fact of life. But we can help turn Mathis’ words of hope into actions.

At Tuesday’s Natchez Board of Aldermen’s meeting, Mathis and others sounded off about a recent rash of crimes in the area.

“We’re going to say, ‘This is Natchez and we’re not going to allow Natchez to have this kind of crime problem,’” she said.

Well said.

So how do we do that?

The answer is complex and will require lots of work, lots of pulling and pushing from everyone — black, white, rich, poor, young and old.

The only way — stress, the only way — to make this happen is by working together.

This isn’t a black or white issue. It’s a Natchez issue.

Bullets don’t discriminate by color and neither should we in working to resolve the crime issue.

Our community needs to aggressively build an attack plan — we’re in a war against crime.

Our community is filled with smart people. Together we can do this, as long as in every step of the journey, we stay focused on the mission — eliminating crime and the forces that contribute to crime.

In the past when such debates have come up, people begin throwing stones — at the police department, at the education system, at the poor among us. But rather than throw stones, we need to realize that we’re all to blame when crime becomes a problem.

We cannot let petty differences sway us off the path. We need focus and we need resolve.Together we can make Mathis’ words come true, but we’ve got to do it one step at a time.