To stop the crime, Selma must act

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

Last year the families and friends of 10 murder victims began living their lives without loved ones. Because of those violent acts, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter will never be the same for those sisters, wives, sons, daughters and friends.

A few weeks ago the number changed to 11 families. On Tuesday it changed to 12. With Saturday night’s drive-by shooting, it could have been worse.

Violent crime affects all of us. If we don’t directly know the victim, we know someone who does. We work with the victims, go to church with them, wave to them as we cross the street on our way to the store.

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And in one instant they are gone from our lives forever. It is the reality of crime, and it must stop.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. created a crime task force last year because of citizens’ concerns about crime. That task force returned to Selmians with several recommendations on how to curb crime.

Those recommendations were answers to crime. We’re ready to see if they work.

Billy Atchison , co-chair of the crime task force, said that &uot;Our city government and city officials have to stand up to the plate and get something done. Crime is not a police problem. It’s a community problem.&uot;

It’s our problem. This violence will not go away just because the city is awaiting its annual audit. It will not disappear because of a problem between Selma and the water board. The amount of violence on Selma’s streets will continue to rise unless we act.

The time for waiting is over. It’s time to get to work. It’s time for our government to take a serious look at the crime task force’s recommendations and hammer out a solution.

Otherwise, we face the possibility of 12 families becoming 13 families. And then 14. Fifteen.

Let’s work together and ensure that never becomes a reality.