The Gray Line Tour: We can control area crime

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003


Sheriffs in the River Parishes have a real challenge, especially as new housing and business development grows. New residents usually mean more crime. New businesses likewise mean more crime. Both provide more targets to the criminal element.

However, crime is being held at a standstill and, such as in St. Charles Parish, is actually being reduced. A major part of that reduction is more visibility of deputies on the streets. A burglar may be less likely to break into a home or business if a deputy is coming around the corner toward him. A robber may think twice about robbing a business if deputies are poised to swarm in and arrest him within scant minutes.

Higher visibility also means a greater degree of comfort to law-abiding citizens. People want to live in a safe neighborhood and work in a place where the likelihood of robbery or burglary is less than most other places.

At the same time, though, this greater sense of security has its drawback.

People can become too comfortable. They may begin to forget to lock their car doors or leave their back door open at home. This complacency is exactly what the criminals hope for – an easy way to commit crimes. Criminals want it quick and easy – that’s why they ARE criminals.

However, people need to do their part to keep crime down and contribute to making it even better. Common sense steps can insure personal safety and help safeguard possessions.

The other major element in keeping crime rates down is the twin element of communication and education.

People need to feel comfortable in calling the sheriff’s office to report suspicious activity they may spot. This can stop anything from vandalism to burglary to street-corner drug dealing. Linked with this is also trust – people need to be able to trust the sheriff’s office, from seniors to children, and improve communication.

Also, people need to educate themselves on what they can do to safeguard themselves, their loved ones and their possessions. It doesn’t necessarily mean making homes an armed fortress. It does mean being more aware and taking normal precautions.

We can have one of the greatest places to raise a family but keeping a tight hold on crime insures it will remain that way, for ourselves and for generations to come.

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.