Major kudos to the city of Atlanta and Fulton County. The word has gone forth—we’ve had enough! Mayor Kasim Reed and Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard are saying in no uncertain terms to the thieves, muggers and home invasion thugs, “We’ve had enough!” Make no mistake, our neighbors to the west are taking a Wyatt Earp approach to the Wild Wild West of home invasions, burglaries, snatch and grab and other forms of mayhem and thievery.
Mayor Reed could not have been more on point than when he said citizens deserve to feel safe in their homes and as they go about their everyday lives. Safety of its citizens is the first obligation of government at any level whether local, state or federal.
People are sick and tired of these hoodlums running amok, taking others hard-earned goods as if they have some exclusive right to them. There are no excuses for taking that which does not belong to you. There are no excuses for kicking in the doors of people’s homes. There are no excuses for ramming vehicles into businesses snatching and grabbing as much loot as possible as if it were a game show where you grab as much as you can within a specified period of time. These home invasions are not a game. And if these bad actors want to play then they should have to pay. Atlanta says they will and to the fullest extent of the law.
Former Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders is the Had Enough Campaign poster girl. Her home was invaded at least twice within a six-month period. If you’ve ever had your home burglarized, you know how violated you feel to know that someone has rummaged through your personal belongings. Many times items taken have a sentimental value that no amount of insurance money can replace.
Speaking of money, we wonder why many high-end businesses won’t locate in certain areas. It’s because of the high cost of doing businesses in certain areas with diminishing returns – the profit/loss columns are heavy on the loss side. In order words, businesses can’t make much profit when they have to pay for extra security, burglar bars and high insurance. The message going forth in Atlanta and Fulton County is exactly what we need in DeKalb as well. Prosecutors and law enforcement standing shoulder to shoulder and telling the bad actors – we’ve had enough!
A final thought. While our leadership steps out and takes a stand, we must also get involved in our neighborhoods. Form neighborhood watch groups. Short of a formal group simply watch out for each other. Be nosy. If papers pile up in the drive, find out why. If grass that is usually cut isn’t, find out why. See suspicious cars or pedestrians in the neighborhood, call the police. It is said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Put another way, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Say to the thugs, “We’ve had enough and it will be a life-altering decision to come into this neighborhood.”
Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.