An invasion of our security

Published 6:38 am Monday, February 28, 2011

We have all been violated.

The home invasion incident earlier this week on Broughton Street is an invasion too of everyone’s privacy.

It is an invasion of everyone’s sense of security. And it is an invasion of everyone’s sense of safety in a community which is supposed to be a short and positive slice of Americana.

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We are losing the battle.

On Monday, a home invasion at 618 E. Broughton St., by a person still unknown, severely injured two of our esteemed senior citizens, one of which may have to have major surgery to correct her injuries.

Every decent citizen of Bainbridge and Decatur County has to be outraged at the continuous increase in criminal activity within our borders. It must be harshly addressed, and it must be the No. 1 priority of elected officials and hired administrators to aggressively stamp it out.

Rightly so, Broughton Street neighbors are demanding action, and have called for a community meeting with law enforcement officials for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.

Apparently, home invasions here are occurring more frequently. They are the new crime wave. Lowlifes have been slowed in commercial burglary attempts due to increasing security measures taken by merchants. We can have security measures too within our own homes to combat this new lucrative criminal activity.

It doesn’t mean we have to barricade ourselves within our own homes, but there are some basic security measures that can be taken.

Doors and windows should be locked at all times. Sure, you can open your windows on a pleasant day to let in some fresh air. But come sundown, lock them. Know the person who is ringing your doorbell. Every unknown person at your door should be greeted with suspicion. Don’t open it. Call the police.

At all times, keep the garage door down and locked. An open garage door is an open invitation for a visitor you don’t want in your home.

Those are simple things we all can do. More expensive actions would include installation of a home security system. But if you do, be sure to use it. It’s easy to get forgetful and complacent about arming and disarming the system.

This is a given: The lowlife that barges into your home uninvited will hurt you. It’s part of their operation. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable. The senior occupants of the house on Broughton Street were not only severely injured, but the intruder threatened their lives as well.

It is fairly obvious that the criminals are gaining bigger and bigger inroads in our town. None of us can feel safe and secure. We need to demand of our public officials that the No. 1 priority is to bring down this increasing criminal activity within our community. Small communities like ours should be havens of security and safety for its citizens.

We have an above-average crime rate in comparison with other cities our size. We need to hold feet to the fire on this, demand answers and solutions as to what must be done.

For law enforcement, these incidents lower the esteem citizens have for you, even though you may be doing all you can to thwart crime. But it is not enough, it is not good enough.

At this meeting on Tuesday night, we don’t want excuses. We want action. We want ideas to combat crime in our neighborhoods. We want methods on how to take back our neighborhoods. We want the criminal gangs defused. We want to feel secure in every neighborhood no matter what part of town.

Crime on our streets is not a community asset. How can we attract industry and new jobs? How can we attract retirees, how can we attract increased retail activity and tourists, how can we securely move forward in any direction?

We need big-time answers.