Restoring hope, reducing crime

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

By Susan Youngblood
Youngblood represents Ward 2 on the Selma City Council.

After more than 32 years of public service, nothing about crime should be shocking.

Especially considering seven of those years were in the criminal justice system in Nashville, and 17th in the criminal justice system here in Alabama’s 4th Judicial Circuit. It is not only the crime that occurs, although that is bad enough, but the fear of crime that impacts a community. In times like these, our faith is sorely tested. We begin to lose hope.

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The fact of the matter is, each time someone dies due to violence; winds up on the wrong side of a gun because someone wants their stuff; is sexually assaulted; it comes to light that a woman is terrorized and brutalized in her home; and each time, God help us all, a child suffers abuse, especially the unspeakable kind that we so often accommodate by ignoring, I still have moments of mini crises. But when a police officer is targeted, as in recent months has been a bit too regular by the worst criminal element, it should cause us all to stop in our tracks and make our blood run cold.

When the criminals begins to have such blatant disrespect for the law enforcement community, it’s all over but the shoutin’.

I recall just several months ago a sudden crime wave in some very quiet neighborhoods where the worse problems had been kids spinning donuts, downed mailboxes and loud motorcycles from time to time. Suddenly, there was a rash of auto thefts and burglaries amid these homes.  People began freaking out. With each telling of the accounts, the situations grew. Car thefts became carjackings.

Burglaries became robberies. Mass fear took hold. People lost hope.

Losing hope, or hope lost due to crime, the fear of crime, rumors of crime or the threat of crime is one of the most devastating elements of a rising community. It can stop progress in its tracks. It can cause a mass exodus.

Hope lost to an underside. Not this time. Just as the neighborhoods banded together and said “this is our neighborhood” and citizens, law enforcement and the city of Selma worked together to find a viable solution to the crime problem with each facet making an investment in the solution, the city of Selma, law enforcement, the faith community, the school systems, and the business community are coming together and asking citizens to join us in restoring hope in the city of Selma. Councilwoman Miah Jackson has been working very hard to get this effort going, along with pastors John Grayson, Daniel Martin and a plethora of other ministers in Selma, from all religions, all churches, of all races and persuasions.

You will be hearing more about this kick-start to change our community. Starting with us. All of us. April 13, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at Bloch Park. Save the date.

If you have church that evening, come afterward. Remember:

It takes all of us to make Selma be her best.