Residents stand up against crime

Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 3, 2013

Most criminals in our community are pretty cowardly. Their criminal endeavors depend on stealth and the apathy of others.

The stealth can come by way of working at night or simply being good at gaining access to property without raising eyebrows.

In many cases, a criminal’s greatest partner in crime is, well, the rest of us. Yes, the people among us who would consider themselves upright, law-abiding citizens can inadvertently aid and abet criminals, without much thought.

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That happens when we simply look away and think to ourselves, “That’s someone else’s problem,” or when we think, “I don’t want to get involved.”

It’s not exactly intentional, but it happens each and every day. We’ve all sort of trained our brains to think that law enforcement is the job of someone else, not us.

The fact is, though, law enforcement agencies will never be staffed well enough to literally be everywhere at every time.

Effective law enforcement often starts with effective residents who simply pay attention, keep their eyes open and make it their business to ask questions, call in suspicious activity and generally be aware of what’s going on around them.

That’s exactly what happened over the last year or so in the Forsythe subdivision in Adams County. Once riddled with lots of crime, residents said, “Enough,” and formed a Neighborhood Watch group in their area.

It has worked well, residents and law enforcement officials both say. It works because the residents cared enough to stand up and get involved.

Imagine what might happen in our community if we all did that.