Do the police overlook the poor? Do the poor overlook themselves?
In 1908 in Girard, Kansas, Eugene V. Debs made an inspiring speech affirming that “yes, I am my brother’s keeper.” He felt he had a moral obligation to his fellow man to feed and look after him.
I wonder if he also understood it to be his role to serve as his brother’s “watcher”?
What Mr. Debs could not have conceptualized was how much things have changed.
Recent events in Cleveland, Ohio, with Ariel Castro, make us ponder how we watch and look after one another in a community setting. It was here where three women that had disappeared over a decade ago were recovered after being held captive in a dilapidated house located in a poor neighbourhood.
The women had been rescued after one of them managed to escape through a locked screen door.
There had been red flags that signaled the need for a police investigation.
A neighbour had reported seeing a naked woman crawling around in the backyard. Another neighbour had seen plastic bags over the windows of the house and heard pounding on its doors.
On both occasions police had shown up at the house, but saw no need to enter the premises.
How could these women have gone undetected for so long? What could have been done differently?
Saying we should be aware of the day-to-day activities of our neighbours is really too simplistic.
Knowing who lives on your block or high rise does not mean being “big brother” to all that goes on, but perhaps encouraging block watches and involving a community-based police patrol could help prevent what took place in Ohio.
Higher urban densities should look at private security patrols. Surely, community policing should be voiced and demanded by its citizenry.
Options are available to be filled by both the public and private sector for the right type of security for where you live.
Eugene V. Debs would certainly echo his support in that we all need to be aware of living safely in the 21st century.
Photo Source: FlickrPosted in: Current Events