In some circles this information has fallen on deaf ears. It is like, “If I don’t accept the facts it will just go away.” It is like your doctor telling you to lose that extra weight and your blood pressure will go down. Change the way you eat and you can lick that emerging diabetes problem. Certainly, that cake just tastes too good and the late-night snacks always seems like a good idea at the time.
As most of us know, a little forethought, a little sacrifice at the right time would have saved a lot of misery and suffering just down the road.
This is the frame of reference that I use as I study the county law-enforcement needs. The present needs must be covered. We also need to keep an eye out for the next year and the next year after that.
The news media across the state are beginning to talk about the criminal element migrating from the large cities to the rural areas and smaller towns.
Why are they?
Well, because the law-enforcement agencies in those areas are now getting some of the support and backing they need to combat their problems. Also, the criminal competition is less and too many of our less populated areas lack the sophistication and experience to deal with new levels of crime.
Violence and other serious crime trends rapidly increase, while the professionals race to get up to speed to fight this growing infestation.
I have been predicting this trend to our readers for the last two years.
On the lighter side, a reader sent me a story that illustrates one way that crime migrated to Cleveland in the past.
In June 1903 the Knoxville Sentinel printed a story about Cole Younger and Frank James coming to Cleveland with a Wild West Show on June 13. This show had attracted a number of pickpockets, gamblers and con men as a part of the show. They traveled across the state from west to east, and even stopped in Northern Alabama.
Law enforcement personnel in Chattanooga were out in great numbers, and were able to keep the lid on much of their illegal activities, while the show played.
The Bradley County sheriff, at the time, was prepared as well.
When they came to Cleveland he attempted to serve several warrants that he had on some of the miscreants. But, they had, apparently, skipped out before the sheriff could find them. It is likely that someone tipped them off about the sheriff and his warrants.
It is interesting to know that Younger had served 25 years in the Minnesota State Penitentiary and was trying to go straight. James, according to this biographer, had also straightened up. He and his wife were First Methodists, but years later joined the Presbyterian church.
This, of course, is no slam on either of these denominations. After all, Frank’s more infamous brother Jesse joined the Baptist Church.
I am a Baptist as well.
Many biographies have been written about Frank and Jesse James. The contribution of this story tells me that the information contained therein about the James boys is from one of the best biographies concerning them. It is entitled, “Frank and Jesse James, The Story Behind the Legend,” and is written by Ted P. Yeatman. The book was published in 2011 by Fall River Press.
On a more sobering note, we must be prepared and never complacent with our endeavors to protect our community. Regardless of the threat we must be prepared. The Sheriff’s Office will continue in our proactive stance as we serve and protect.
Thanks for reading.