Fix crime problem at grassroots

Published 4:05 am Saturday, January 31, 2009

Franklin’s crime problem won’t be solved by law enforcement alone.

We were glad to hear that sentiment expressed by citizens who spoke at Monday’s City Council meeting, by City Manager June Fleming and by Police Chief Phil Hardison in an interview with Tidewater News staff writer Kathi Pines.

Effective policing can be helpful, without question, but solutions to the root causes of the city’s crime problem — illegal drugs, gangs, and high teen pregnancy and school dropout rates — will be community-based.

City government can play a key role by convening a summit of stakeholders: pastors, civic leaders, law enforcement, educators, citizens of high-crime neighborhoods, and interested citizens from other neighborhoods.

From that dialog are likely to come ideas for nipping the crime problem in the bud and keeping our city safe for current and future generations of citizens.