Alicia ChangAP Science Writer
May 14, 2013
The discovery of three young women who were missing for more than a decade in Cleveland calls for action in several ways, the most basic of which is to know our own neighborhoods, if not our neighbors.
There was a time in America, back when front porches and stoops were the evening hangouts for families, that people knew the names of everyone on their block, all of their children and their pets. There was a time when the cop on the beat in that neighborhood knew everyone by name, their comings and goings, too.
It’s long past time since that was the case, and it’s long past time for the need for that to be the case again…
We need to be sure we truly do know what’s going on in our neighborhoods, and not just to wait for gunfire or captives to escape. Know your neighbors. Know who belongs in your neighborhood. Know the comings and goings of cars, kids, workmen.
But in return, society needs police officers who take every call seriously. If every violation is taken seriously, it should become harder for crime to take root….
That didn’t happen in Cleveland, where the lead suspect apparently was so devious that he actually comforted the mother of one of the missing girls during a vigil. To say police response to a neighborhood was lacking in Cleveland is understating the case.
Without support from neighborhoods, the police cannot do their job.
In the Cleveland case, the opposite is exemplified. Without support from police, crime, even in the best of neighborhoods, will go unsolved.