Friday, August 18, 2006

Crime is spinning out of control here

Crime in Baytown is spinning wildly out of control citizens! Armed robbery is occurring while people are pumping gas into their cars. As many as four hit and run type crimes are committed here every single day. There is enough lawn equipment stolen out of people’s garages each week to outfit a lawn service. As many as thirty cars, trucks and motorcycles are stolen or burglarized right here in our town every week!

Baytown has always had a migrant population and that's why we have so many apartments, storage buildings, and trailer parks. Some say it is this population doing the crime; some others say it is the seedy element from Katrina. I don’t know, but I do know this town has become cancerous concerning crime and it is on the verge of killing itself.

The solid citizens of this town who plan to continue to live here and raise a family need to organize and petition our local government and if this means higher taxes, then so be it. We need more 'boots on the ground' in this town. There is talk of organizing, but it will take participation of people who really care about this city. The dreaded ‘P’ word…participation’ long anathema to getting any changes here.

Local businesses are targeted constantly with thefts and burglaries. They need to get behind this effort. Honest citizens feel threatened while shopping and driving and are on the verge of taking their business elsewhere. Traffic rolls through red lights and stop signs with abandon and the speed limits are largely ignored simply because there are not enough police to enforce the wholesale disregard for simple traffic laws, let alone violent crime.

We do not need vigilante justice. We need more police patrolling. Seven officers patrolling in a town with a daytime population of 120,000+ people is less than half what we should have. We don’t need a bunch of well-meaning honest citizens marching up and down Garth Road holding signs to alert the whole country about our problem.

This city does not need to grow one iota until law and order are restored and citizens feel safe. It's is a complicated issue, but folks are ready to abandon this city right now over the crime problem. Most folks simply want to raise their family, own a nice home and shop without looking over their shoulder. They don't want to arm themselves and duck and roll like they live in a war zone.

We as solid law-abiding citizens should band together in some sort of official town meeting, and get the balls rolling on implementing a plan to take our city back from criminals. Businesses owners, especially the large out of town businesses need to put their back into this effort and show Baytownians that they are behind this effort. Our safety is more important than our dollars. Come on Baytown Government! Rebuilding Texas Avenue will do no good if there are no people to shop there.

What we need are people with organizational skills and the know how to set something up that isn’t based on emotion, but on a plan that keeps crime in check for the future.

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