Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Youth crimes are serious


A great travesty has occurred to the citizens of this valley and its police force by granting leniency to the young men who attempted to set fire to the police vehicles of Ketchum and Hailey in December 2010. The travesty is not that these youths were given a reduced sentence, a paltry slap on the wrist for their crimes. The travesty is that the example set by their "gentle" punishment will only serve to degrade the respect that should be given not just to police, but to community property.

Our tax dollars pay for those vehicles. Our tax dollars pay for the salaries of the police. Our tax dollars pay for the judgement rendered by the court.

While many in this community might see this as a learning opportunity for these youths, there is a loss that is greater, a loss of respect shown to this community. This is not the only incident that should garner our attention to the loss of decency that is gaining a foothold not only in our community, but in our state and throughout our country. There is a growing lack of respect in this country for the law enforcement and judicial system that protects our citizenry from such crimes.

In this community there is a growing presence of gang activity. To say otherwise or deny so is to walk blindly into the future. I moved to this valley from an area of Washington with some of the highest gang-related violence in that state. Those individuals laugh at the justice system, and worse, they mock innocent and just citizens.

If this valley is such a great place to live, work and play, isn't it worth rising, standing up for and preventing such future actions by saying to those who commit these crimes that they will absolutely not be tolerated?

JOSEPH LANDBURG

Hailey




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