Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Good news on the crime front

Statistics from the State Bureau of Investigation showed a drop in the violent crime rate last year in Garner. That’s a great thing. The reasons are many.

Police are making good use of technology and putting themselves in better physial position to be close by when a crime occurs. That may seem like a bit of dumb luck, but it’s not. Garner police analyze crime data to determine when the town’s biggest problem areas are and they deploy in those areas more often than in other, safer places.

Meanwhile, police have aggressively marketed themselves to the community as servants rather than the bad guys who hand out tickets. People know, without any marketing, to call police when they need help, but there’s a greater spirit of cooperation when the community develops a personal relationship with their police officers.

And speaking of handing out tickets, police have focused on traffic enforcement to a greater degree than in the past. While traffic violations are not part of this report, that kind of law enforcements helps reduce the potential for crime, whether it’s getting a drunk driver off the road, or stopping someone with a suitcase full of drugs.

It should also be noted that the favorable statistics are not entirely of the police department’s making.

Garner residents have stepped up to the plate and improved their communication with police when crime strikes their neighborhood. No one wants to live in a high-crime area and most of us would do what it takes to keep our own neighborhoods safe and crime-free. Garner residents are doing that more and that extra set of eyes helps reduce the likelihood of crime in the first place and, perhaps most importantly, it helps law enforcement clear a case through an arrest more quickly.

So while celebrate the 2013 statistics, it’s important to remember that no one – not the police nor the citizenry – can afford to let their foot off the peddle.