MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

September 7, 2012

All must help in fight for our city

— Cooperation between law enforcement agencies is helping to make Muskogee a safer place.

Unfortunately, not fast enough.

Since a rash of shootings in late 2011, several law enforcement agencies — including local, county, state and federal — are attempting to crack down on violent criminals.

It appears that cooperation is working — to a degree.

United States Attorney Mark Green said when certain crimes — for instance, weapon crimes such as a convicted felon possessing a firearm — occur, they can draw federal interest.

When local law enforcement tells federal officials of the crime, it can come to the attention of the U.S. attorney.

Sixteen Muskogee County citizens have been through the federal system for weapons crimes in 2012, according to U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma news releases.

“It’s no secret that cooperation between different factions can be beneficial, and it would appear we’re seeing success.”

Yes, but that success needs to be accelerated.

Another person lost their life late Thursday night — the victim in another deadly shooting here.

While Muskogee is a much safer place than larger cities, we have a problem with violence.

While that is not at all law enforcement’s fault, it is their responsibility to help solve the problem.

They need the help of government officials to find the funds to keep more officers on the clock.

Law enforcement also needs the help of Muskogee area citizens.

Violent criminals feel far too comfortable living here and committing crimes here.

Citizens must step up and be watchful. They must be willing to engage law enforcement to keep the heat on criminals.

If everyone gets involved — watch out for your neighbors, report suspicious activity — it will make Muskogee too hot for criminals to live here.

If enough pressure comes to bear on those who have no regard for human life, they will leave.

Law enforcement is trying.

They are doing all they can with the resources they have to make our streets safer.

Now, it’s our turn to help.

Create neighborhood watches.

Be alert.

Pay attention.

Cooperate with law enforcement.

Now is a critical time for our community’s future.

If we want our streets back, we have to help take them back.

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