Violent trend needs to end now

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calls for prayer vigils and community conferences in the wake of the death of Joshua Jackson are appropriate and the results of good intentions. But nothing will stop violence in Selma until parents and other responsible adults begin to take action.

Parents need to keep their children off the streets and in schools, where they belong. Parents should take the old approach: know where your child is going, your child’s friends, when that child will return. Then, go to check on your child. Let that child know you are serious about living the proper way and obeying the law.

Jackson’s death is a tragic one. Police continue to chase leads as to suspects in Jackson’s killing.

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A couple of issues stand here. First is the cult of silence that engulfs this city. People live out of fear of retribution, which prevents law enforcement from having the tools to do their jobs.

Selma is a small city, and information travels fast. Many shy away from secret witness lines or anonymous call-ins, such as the Crime Stoppers, because they stand in fear someone will find out who they are. Thus, the city is mute when it comes to reporting crimes.

We don’t need a lot more police. We need cooperation between police and the public. The public needs to see police officers as there to serve and protect. Police officers need to see the public as an extension of their circle of those in their care.

When parents begin working with their children and people and the police begin to communicate, violence will end here in Selma.