Leaders should not cover up robberies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

In the past, you probably haven’t thought too much about being robbed. Zannie Murphy didn’t until it happened to him recently in downtown Selma.

Murphy was robbed, staring at the black hole of a gun barrel, contemplating whether or not he would be around to see the next minute of his life.

Others have been robbed in Selma recently and it’s to the point that we have a problem.

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We’ve seen crime take its ups and downs in our city. Previous crime sprees involved break-ins and burglaries. These crimes are intrusive and shake our sense of security.

But burglars are different from robbers. Burglars aren’t seeking contact and strike when no one is at home or at the office. Robbers seek a nose-to-nose confrontation and are ready to kill.

Selma has made some positive steps recently as it relates to crime. We’ve seen our police force increased and we’ve seen citizens organize to form a Crime Stoppers unit.

These are good measures, but the recent robberies show that we are far from being free of crime. And while many businesses have made strides to protect themselves from burglary, criminals often change tactics once they meet resistance.

We hope the recent robberies are not their newest approach.

Thousands of people walk Selma’s streets everyday and take care of business without incident. Our city is relatively safe.

But armed robbery is a dangerous crime. One advantage of living in a small town is that small-town life often exempts us from serious crimes like armed robbery. We often correctly conclude that these types of things generally happen in big cities.

An armed robbery is news in Selma and no news in New York or Atlanta. We need to keep it that way.

We hope our city leaders respond swiftly to this robbery spree. Yes, it is a spree and needs to be dealt with accordingly. If whoever is doing the robbing thinks they cannot get caught, then they will become more brazen and bolder.

If this doesn’t stop, someone walking to their car could be killed or wounded and that is a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen.