A vigilant community
Glancing through The Newnan Times-Herald, there are obvious upticks in the community.
Two new hospitals recently completed and opened, and another one is on the way. Road construction throughout the county and city of Newnan continues. And in another positive sign, new housing construction is picking up, while foreclosures continue a downward trend. There are new businesses and expansions of existing ones.
The Newnan Centre, the city’s convention/multi-use complex, will open within a month. A new $8 million public safety complex will soon break ground. The biggest project - a $15 million renovation of the old Newnan Hospital into a new University of West Georgia campus - will bring a big economic boost not only during the construction phase, but it will create a downtown campus for the city.
Things are definitely improving in our county.
But that same glance at the newspaper highlights a continuing problem seen throughout our country. Just this past week, hundreds of indictments and accusations were handed down by a Coweta County grand jury and the Coweta District Attorney’s Office.
There were no murders, although one homicide by vehicle. Drug arrests continue to see the most action, ranging from possession to manufacturing to distribution. That is a problem area that never seems to go away.
Most disheartening is the increase in domestic violence arrests and charges. Drug addicts consciously decide to sell drugs or abuse their bodies. Thieves steal for whatever reason, but again, they decide to. Women don’t ask to be beaten. Children don’t ask to hear the screams, or feel the brunt of a hand themselves.
Another troubling statistic is the number of “obstruction of officer” arrests. In simple terms, that usually means the suspect tried to fight the deputy or police officer. It often leads to a “tasing” as they say, and it is a good thing law enforcement officers have those deterrents.
Despite all the doom on the public safety front, there are bright sides as well. Ones that we as a community participate in, and must continue to do so. Oftentimes those crime stories have four little words. Four incredibly powerful and vital ones, nonetheless.
“Acting on a tip ...”
More often than not, that tip is from a citizen. Someone reporting a drunk driver. Someone who just got tired of watching cars come in at all hours of the day and night to the same house. Someone spotting another person sneaking around a house that’s obviously not theirs. Someone who is not going to hear the screams from next door any more.
That someone is you. There are not enough police officers and sheriff’s deputies in the world to prevent crime. But an active and vigilant community is a key prong in the fight against it. And it is up to us to alert authorities of crimes and potential ones as well. If we want Coweta County to be the wonderful place it is, we must continue to fight crime. Let’s be ever aggressive to ensure the drug dealers and thieves and abusers know they are not wanted or welcomed.