EDITORIAL: Fighting crime begins with speaking out

2013-06-18T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Fighting crime begins with speaking out nwitimes.com
June 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Communities United Against Violence held an anti-violence summit Saturday in Gary. This anti-violence message needs to spread throughout the city — and beyond — so residents become more eager to share information with police and take other actions to break crime's grip on their lives.

There are many ways to fight crime, some obvious and others less so.

Crime flourishes where neglect is visible. This is perhaps most evident where derelict buildings abound. Those structures are havens for crime.

Citizens should press the city and the federal government for funds and action to knock down derelict buildings. Buildings that can't be saved must be razed so neighborhoods can be saved.

But it's not just about City Hall and the federal government. Citizens can and should spruce up parks and residences. Mow lawns at adjacent unoccupied properties. Pick up broken glass and other litter.

Form neighborhood watch programs. Get to know the people who live nearby, build friendships and watch out for each other.

Mentor children through programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs, church groups and others. Show youths there is a better way than to succumb to the gangs and others who prey on them.

Above all, stop enabling crime by failing to report it.

"If those of us who know better remain silent, then the small minority of people who are committing crimes will take over," Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said. "The overwhelming majority of our young people are law-abiding, God-fearing people. We could put 500 or 600 police officers on the street, and it still won't matter unless we come together as a community."

Sharing tips to police about suspicious people gathering in a neighborhood, cars speeding frequently on residential streets with young children nearby or other potential crimes can be scary for citizens worried about retribution.

But it's through reporting possible crimes that the process of ridding a community of the criminal element begins.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"

Questions?

Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357

Poll

Loading…

Have you ever visited the John Dillinger Museum?

View Results