City needs additional officers

Published 8:49 am Friday, April 17, 2009

Last in a series

Those who have heard and seen Police Chief Phil Hardison’s presentation about rising crime in Franklin are aware of the great necessity for 10 more officers.

For those who haven’t, it is extremely important that you become completely informed. The only way to do this is to attend one of the chief’s presentations; however, it is important that this series of columns whet your appetite for more knowledge about this very serious subject.

The chief’s review of the history and unrest that has occurred in the city in the past is not a one-way street. It has occurred in many areas of the city. However, the preponderance of crime has been located in some specific areas of high density and low income, which leads one to believe that more boots on the ground will make our streets safer. Throughout the world, this has definitely been proven to reduce the prison population and lets local citizens take control of their neighborhoods while building street cultures that the locals want. Those cultures can do more to control crime than any government program yet devised while bringing a tremendous sense of pride, trust and togetherness to their citizens.

If you want your neighborhood to be safe, you must be an active participant in your Neighborhood Watch Program and participate in other community programs that encourage everyone to be proactive in helping our police clear our city of all crime. You must be willing to be an informant if you have information that can help the police in this most important endeavor. Never fail to call 911 if you see or hear anything that would be beneficial to stopping or solving a crime of any kind.

We constantly see and hear on radio, television and the printed page about the possibilities of local and far-reaching terrorist plots and attacks in almost every part of the world. The United States is no exception, and it is imperative that we realize not all terror is foreign born. It is extremely important to be aware that so many things can happen on the local level, and terror is no exception.

Therefore, gang violence is an issue that is addressed to great length by the chief — and rightly so. Our police officers must be ever vigilant concerning the possibility of this violence, and every citizen who cares about the lives of his family members, neighbors and peaceful citizens must keep totally alert and report any unusual occurrences in the community.

In an article in The Weekly Standard Harvard law professor William J. Stuntz stated that the Iraq War proved that to rule crime-ridden territory, it took men in uniform standing guard on violent street corners in numbers large enough to reassure local residents that they could walk safely down the streets. I believe this is applicable to the City of Franklin because our police officers along with another 10 new officers can make this a city where people will feel safe and a wonderful place to raise their families.

The funding for this program will have to come from various sources, but I have heard no one who has seen this presentation say anything negative, and all believe there is a way to make this a reality. It can be done!

When you meet any of our police officers, walk up to them, introduce yourself, get to know them and thank them for putting their lives on the line for you, your family and all of our citizens 24/7. You will feel better, and they will too.