Destiny not decided

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 29, 2009

I applaud The Vicksburg Post editorial (Nov. 15) urging citizens to volunteer information to help law enforcement control crime in Vicksburg. It is deplorable that law-abiding citizens have let criminals take over our city and its environs. The residents of a community do indeed set standards for everything they want, like good restaurants, shopping and entertainment. They can determine what they will not tolerate, such as a minimally qualified, unmotivated work force and rampant criminal activity.

When I returned to Vicksburg after 28 years, the prevailing apathy and resistance to change in attitudes looked like issues needing attention. When I’ve suggested speaking up, I always get a reply similar to this: “You can’t do anything about it. It’s always been that way and always will.”

I say it doesn’t have to be. Our mayor was elected by people working toward a common goal, regardless of race, social class or talk of the incumbents being a shoo-in. The result was a landslide win. If we are willing to unite with our neighbors and help police to help us by paying attention and giving them information, we can take back our community from those who assault, rob and intimidate us.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

As sensible adults we can keep safe by taking simple, commonsense precautions. Most would-be criminals can be deterred by securing valuables. Lock your vehicles everywhere, even in your driveway. And don’t forget to lock your house, especially when you’re at home. Try to let someone trustworthy know where you’re going and a time frame for your return. When you’re out, pay attention to what is happening in your area, and the people around you. If things don’t feel right, it’s time to leave. There are many easy ways to protect ourselves, our families and our valuables without springing for an expensive alarm system or a gun.

Along with taking personal responsibility for our own safety, we can watch out for each other, especially children and older folks in our neighborhoods. Try to work respectfully and cooperatively with law enforcement personnel. Their jobs can be dangerous and often frustrating and tedious. If each of us has the courage and desire to improve our community, we can serve it well by working with our police as allies. Together we can make Vicksburg a safe, inviting place to live and visit.

Shirley T. White