Let’s let Selma’s light shine this holiday seasonPublished 10:18pm Thursday, December 13, 2012
Although images of snowy white houses, brightly lit Christmas trees and holiday cheer fill our minds this season, sad realities of the harsh “real world” unfortunately still find a way to creep back in to our lives.
By now it’s not new news that a horrible incident happened at an Oregon mall Monday. With a stolen rifle, a 22-year-old male made two fatal shots and left one in critical condition. Sadly, shootings like this one are not limited to far away places.
Crime and acts of hate have happened here in Selma too. Almost a year ago a Selma woman was killed in a drive-by shooting on Marie Foster Street. Just last month gunfire occurred at the Downtown Sports Bar after a 21-year-old was asked to leave following a disagreement.
It’s incidents like these that dull the shine on our beautiful city. Everyday while scanning police reports, it never fails that my eye catches at least one mention of “shots fired” and several incidences of vehicle and residential theft.
Yes, it would be unrealistic of me to say that our crime rate should be zero, but I do believe it could and should be lower.
Between new businesses and countless individuals who strive to make our city a better place, crime only brings Selma down and gives our city and community a bad reputation. With high-end lofts soon to be available for rent downtown and two boutiques that recently opened on Broad Street, we simply don’t have room for high crime in the downtown area.
Selma is steadily becoming a city that has an active nightlife. The Selma Walton Theater and restaurants like El Ranchero’s and Sweet Advantages prove this. As a city, we need clean, safe streets that residents can enjoy past the dinnertime hour.
Several programs have been created to combat crime in Selma, and I commend them. District Judge Bob Armstrong has launched several programs that seek to better the community through initiatives that teach anti-violence and drug-free lifestyles.
His fatherhood initiative program is one such program that I believe has the potential to tackle one of the root causes of crime in Selma — high numbers of children growing up in single parent homes. By providing guidance to these families, children can hopefully follow a safe path and stay away from violent lifestyles. The Dallas County Family Resource Center, which recently opened, is another outlet for community members who may be struggling and need guidance.
After living in Selma for four months, I’ve witnessed first-hand how gracious and welcoming this community is. Let’s allow the world see Selma for what it really is — a wonderful community full of wonderful people.