When crime teaches
by Rick Norton
Jan 31, 2013 | 195 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Few neighborhoods, if any, are immune from crime.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, this includes homes within our Cleveland and Bradley County community. For many, it is a bitter lesson but often it is one that leads to personal awareness and most importantly, change.

@:It also points to the importance of law enforcement and the professionals locally who comprise operations like the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland Police Department and the Charleston Police Department, among other agencies whose mutual aid pacts exist in order to serve and to protect.

The subject came to our attention recently in an email received from a Bradley County resident who was submitting it as a “Letter to the Editor.” Although the correspondence is legitimate, it would be inappropriate to publish it with a name because it involves future actions the writer will be taking as the result of the home break-in. To point out that he has not done so yet, and to identify the household, would serve as an invitation to other would-be intruders.

But his message is important, one to which all Cleveland and Bradley County residents should take heed. For this reason, we will excerpt from his original letter that centers on two key thoughts. One is the importance of area law enforcement agencies. The other is his lesson learned and how it will impact his family’s future.

He writes, “The Bradley County Sheriff’s Department and their Detective Division did a great job in their recent response and investigation of the break-in and burglary of our home. You never expect something like this to happen and when it does it is devastating. The information collected led authorities to a group of juveniles who were the culprits. They have all been arrested and are facing prosecution.”

The writer then spoke of his need for change.

“The lesson that we learned through all of this was to make sure that you don’t tell people when you are going out of town,” he explained. “Tell your kids not to tell friends or anyone for that matter. That is exactly what happened in our case. If possible, have a friend or family member house-sit while you are gone.”

The burglary of what he assumed was a safe haven was educational.

“Since this happened to us, our awareness level has increased greatly and we are definitely going to change how we do things,” the writer advised. “We are going to have an alarm system installed immediately and I am currently working on establishing a very effective Neighborhood Watch program for our area.”

Both are wise decisions and should be considered by anyone whether a homeowner or renter.

The break-in of his home was nothing less than a personal assault against his family, his loved ones and his way of life. It is for this reason he offers an understandable opinion, one with which most law-abiding residents will agree.

“It is unfortunate that we have people in our community, especially our young people, that feel like they have to steal from others, and cause damage and harm,” he stressed. “I can’t imagine what the parents of these juveniles are going through.”

In closing, he thanked law enforcement officers for their professional courtesies, their investigative thoroughness and their humanitarian response. He also cautioned others whose misguided deeds might infringe on the rights of other innocent people.

“The take-away lesson here in Bradley County is if you do the crime you will do the time,” he cited. “The Bradley County Sheriff’s Department is dedicated to protect and to serve our citizens. In our case, their service was above and beyond, and we are very grateful to them.”

The writer closed, “Justice has been served.”

Others often say it best.

This is one such occasion.