We can all help prevent crime here

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, February 11, 2021

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Thanks to the efforts of Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten and his deputies and officers and investigators at the Natchez Police Department, as well as the cooperation of several people in our community, three individuals alleged to have been involved in a string of armed burglaries in south Natchez earlier this week are behind bars.

Still, the streets of Natchez and Adams County continue to be plagued with young people brandishing stolen weapons and stealing or selling illegal. Many are just teenagers.

We thank our law enforcement officers for their hard and smart work in locating the alleged burglars. Now, we as a community need to ask ourselves what we can do to help deter our young people from beginning a similar life of crime.

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How does someone so young become involved in such brazen crimes? What should be we doing differently to help others from feeling their only hope for having anything in life is to take it from someone else?

Videos and images of these burglars show them dangerously pointing guns as they rummage through vehicles with lights on and with a complete disregard for the law and — quite possibly — human life.

We constantly blame law enforcement for crime here, but the problem doesn’t begin with our deputies and officers.

These are our young people. They are members of our community. Where did we fail them?

Where are their parents? What were the circumstances of their life that led these young men to this kind of life and disregard for others?

What more, if anything, can educators do to sound the alarm and get help for young people they see displaying tendencies that could lead to this kind of life?

We need to work as a community to make certain our children get the nurturing they need and basic education skills and support to make sure they read by third grade.

What support and guidance can we provide for parents to help better guide their children?

Educators, what skills do we need to we provide our students to ensure they are work ready, college ready or military ready when they graduate from high school?

Business leaders, can you provide internship or job shadowing for some of our students?

City and county leaders, what activities and organizations can we provide young people to direct their energies away from the streets and toward something productive?

It’s our responsibility as citizens of this community to help raise all of our children.

We are grateful to our law enforcement community for doing its job.

The rest of us need to step up and do our part to help guide our children toward a productive, safe and responsible life.

If ever anything was worthy of a task force, this issue is.