EDITORIAL: Gary residents taking back their city

2012-07-24T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Gary residents taking back their city nwitimes.com
July 24, 2012 12:00 am  • 

"Enough is enough," declared Gary residents, church representatives, public officials and the law enforcement community.

Their anti-violence rally Friday came after three homicides in five days. Already this year, the city has seen more than 20 homicides.

This was not an occasion to blame the police. Rather, it was a moment to rally the troops — the entire city — to fight crime.

Since Wade Ingram became police chief early this year, he has made a display of force in every neighborhood where a homicide has occurred. That is simply not enough. What police need are good tips from residents.

"If we depend only on those in law enforcement, we have lost the battle before we even start. It takes the whole community," Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told the hundreds of people gathered for the rally.

City Council President Kyle Allen called on residents to "invest in our city. We must create an adequate and superior quality of life here, and (lawbreakers) should suffer the consequences."

Freeman-Wilson said, "The majority of people in Gary are law-abiding. But we have allowed a lawless minority to rule. We give notice right now that the majority is going to rule this entire city."

That translates into being authority figures children can look up to. It means raising children to understand right from wrong. It means modeling the behavior that children should be expected to follow.

It also means standing up to the criminal element — but doing so intelligently. Report crimes, but also report suspicious behavior.

Get back to the idea of neighbors helping neighbors. That's what Gary, as well as many other communities, need. 

It's good to see Gary leaders and residents rise up against crime in last week's anti-violence rally, following a string of homicides. Now continue that effort in a way that helps the police find criminals and clean up the community.

Enough is enough. Take back the city.

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