Good police work benefits our region | Opinions


The recent spate of unusual criminal incidents underscores the importance of the police and the role they play in our communities.

First, Steuben County Police were called to investigate the death of Wilma Ball, 82, at her Lake James residence, which was determined to be stabbing homicide.

Officers have yet to make an arrest in the case, which has now passed since the first week since the incident, but police continue to gather evidence, follow advice and continue to investigate.

Second, authorities spent two days investigating and locating the gunman in a shooting at the Gallops gas station in Kendallville. Officers were at the scene about three minutes after receiving a 911 call from one of the victims and likely missed the shooter as he fled the scene.

Over the next two days, police issued a multi-state alert to be on the lookout for suspect Matthew Rodriguez and his red Kia Forte. At around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, a state soldier in Athens, Ohio, 4:30 a.m. from Kendallville, spotted the red sedan during a routine check of the local rest area, said checked his plate and arrested Rodriguez.

And third, Auburn Police responded quickly last week to a break-in at the YMCA’s early learning center in DeKalb County, arresting a man who allegedly tried to tear off a worker at the center and, in the process, broke a window and a secure door. .

Who knows what might have happened if he had managed to capture this YMCA worker or if he had entered deeper into the facility where the children were? Fortunately, a quick response from the police ensured he did not.

Nationally, valid criticisms have been leveled about certain aspects of policing and the US criminal justice system. Thoughtful police and criminal justice reforms are welcome in the same way that thoughtful reflection and change can literally benefit any sector of society and business.

Over-reaction can make the already difficult job the police are tasked with almost impossible.

Fortunately, homicides, kidnappings and other serious violent crimes are rare in our communities, but other parts of the country have started to see an increase in these types of violent crimes in 2020. It is essential to have a police officer close by. minutes away and ready to go. maintaining public safety.

Detectives and investigators who gather and track a suspect’s evidence are essential to ensuring victims ultimately get justice.

We are grateful for the good work of our law enforcement professionals.

OUR POINT OF VIEW is alternately written by Grace Housholder, Andy Barrand, Michael Marturello and Steve Garbacz. We welcome feedback from readers.


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