Citizen police help put bad guys in jail

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There’s been a theme in local crime coverage in recent days.

“4 dealers arrested after cops act on tip,” a Wednesday headline read detailing a story in which an Opp resident provided an anonymous tip about a possible drug transaction. Working from the tip, the Opp Police Department and the Drug Task Force set up surveillance and charge four people with distribution of an illegal substance.

The same day, another story detailed how a tip from a county employee helped deputies catch three men who were using a welding torch to cut steel beams from the historic Hart’s Bridge on Hart’s Bridge Road in the Mobley Creek Community.

Friday, a third story detailed how an alert woman noticed an interior light on in her neighbor’s Jeep, called the police, and helped identify the burglar. He, too, was in the habit of committing burglaries, and was out on bond from previous arrests when he was caught this week.

These incidents not only remind us that we can pay a role in fighting crime, but that we can do things to protect ourselves and our belongings.

Drug Task Force agent Lt. Paul Hudson encouraged additional tips from the community.

“These tips help us build solid cases against the drug dealers in our county and to be able to prosecute the dealers and get them off the streets, away from our kids,” he said.

And Assistant Chief Mike Bowlan of the APD encouraged locked doors and not leaving tempting things in vehicles.

“Gone are the days of not locking the windows and doors,” Bowlan said, adding that items such as computers, cell phones, iPods and expensive sunglasses are easily sold or traded.

All of us can play a role in reducing crime rates in our communities.