Don’t be a statistic

Published 12:26 pm Sunday, March 1, 2020

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We weren’t especially surprised to learn that the number of gun-related incidents in Franklin has gone up again. Crime is like so much else in life; it comes and goes in waves, or if you prefer other analogies, peaks and valleys or cycles. Take your pick.

As staff writer Stephen Faleski reported last week (“Gun incidents rising again in Franklin” Sunday, Feb. 23), Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson has documented that city officers responded to 77 reports of shots fired in 2019, and that’s figured as a 35-percent increase over 57 incidents in 2018. Patterson told council earlier in February that that stat applies only to when police found either physical evidence, such as shell casings, or witnesses spoke up.

Of course that’s not all. Burglaries, drug offenses and weapons violations, such as a felon found with a gun in hand, have also increased in number.

We’re also not particularly alarmed by the news because, as the chief noted, it stands to reason that if the police are doing more investigations, they’ll get the weapons and drugs off the street, therefore the statistics will rise. Seek and ye shall find. In fact, we’re confident that the department is doing as much as it can with whatever resources are available.

Speaking of resources, this is where Franklin residents come into the picture. If we truly want to see the numbers go down and stay there, then it falls on each and everyone of us to be diligent about fighting crime. As we have pointed out time and time again, the police cannot be everywhere at once. Also, do you actually think your silence buys you any kind of real protection? If people do not speak up, then criminals can carry on with what they want to do without fear of reprisal.

Neighborhood watch programs can be established as a way to not only look out for suspicious characters and behavior, it can bond families in a positive way. There are also hotlines to report crimes anonymously.

As the slogan goes, “If you see something, say something.”