Tonight, Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher will be meeting with residents of the Lawrenceville community to continue with an outreach program he began shortly after taking the reins of the department.
The goal is to reach out to the people of our communities, especially those in unincorporated sections of the county, to hear about their concerns, fears and ideas.
It is no secret certain crimes have been on the rise in recent years. With more drugs coming into our area, burglaries and even some more violent crimes have followed.
Unfortunately, our local law enforcement officials have a limited number of resources and cannot be everywhere at once. That is where these meetings come in, however, and we think it is good they are taking place.
By hearing directly from the residents, our local police and sheriff's departments can get a better idea of where their attention should be focused, where they should patrol and even possible leads on recent crimes.
They can tell our local officers and deputies their ideas, and law enforcement officials can share some of their plans.
Previous meetings between the sheriff and residents of Newell have been successful in recent months, opening up a dialogue which might never have taken place otherwise. We hope the same will be said for tonight's meeting, also.
Clear channels of communication are needed when it comes to the relationship between our residents and those who serve and protect. Without them, things can only get worse when it comes to fighting crime in our area.