Our View: You can help stop the cycle of violence
Feel like giving law enforcement information about a situation you know about?
If it’s an emergency, call 911.
Otherwise, call: Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, 749-7777.
Marysville Police Department 749-3900.
Sutter County Sheriff’s Department 822-7307.
Yuba City Police Department 822-4660.
It's not representative of our community, but it's happening here. Even though there is so much more to our towns and counties, this has to be reported.
The stories are too frequent in our news pages. Violence, fights, drugs, gang activity suspected. We're tired of making space at the top of our front pages for murder stories.
There is so much of it that it makes you want to ignore it. And it's easy to want to ignore it because it makes so much sense to most of us to want to avoid it, when it's in a different neighborhood, across town, when it's down the street, even when it's next door.
We all try to be tolerant, and to mind our own business. Let the party go on. The constant coming and going from the house just down the block … let that go. It's easier.
And it's scary picking up the phone, it's scary getting involved, it's scary even when you remain an anonymous caller … because, can you really be anonymous? It's also easy, if you think of yourself as a good citizen, to sympathize with your local law enforcement personnel — they are men and women who are already worked hard enough, who already are in enough danger, who are busy … and you are reluctant to add one more thing to their plate.
But a call to complain about constant noise, constant yelling and fighting, constant traffic … that call is better for everyone than the call that might finally come about gunfire and someone dead.
Keep police informed
We have a good system of law enforcement. Private citizens don't have to be involved in the dangerous part; they don't have to make judgments about who is handcuffed; they don't have to take justice in their own hands. But that doesn't mean our system works without our involvement.
We need to make phone calls sometimes. We cannot use our names; we can specifically ask to remain anonymous. Some people will abuse that system to nag and complain about less important things … but that doesn't mean we are a bother when we call about cars stopping and going from the neighbor's home all night long.
We're an important part of the law enforcement system.
Even if our call doesn't lead to immediate action, it can be important that dispatchers' logs record complaints — something is there in black and white. When the frequency hits a certain level, that might spur action, it might back up other assertions.
What we're saying is that we understand that it's scary; we understand that we feel we don't want to bother the cops; we understand that minding your own business is usually a good plan. But the community is your business, too.
This is our place, and it's a good one. What's wrong with Yuba and Sutter counties and the cities and towns and neighborhoods in them? Ignore for now the carping of those who are seldom happy; ask any reasonable person and you'll hear that this is a good place, a great climate, pretty country, nice communities, plenty of amenities. The bad parts? Too much unemployment. And too much crime and violence.
There is too much violent crime displayed on the front page of the Appeal-Democrat. But we can't make it not happen by not printing it. How to help?
• Take the opportunity, when you can, to give kudos to law enforcement — they face a lot of challenges. n Urge your elected representatives to make sure that public safety is at the top of the priority list.
• And watch out in your neighborhood. Don't be confrontational; don't put yourself in harm's way. Just call your law enforcement agency when there's something too noisy, too raucous, too violent, too busy.
• Urge your elected representatives to make sure that public safety is at the top of the priority list.