Northwest NEWS

August 24, 1998


Unity is important to neighborhoods

   I wanted to thank all of the citizens throughout King County, men, women and kids, who participated in the National Night Out Neighborhood Crime Prevention Program.
   During my visits to different neighborhoods around the county on National Night Out, I realized again just how important neighborhood unity can be to help deter crime.
   It is such a simple notion, people getting to know one another and talk about helping each other out.
   For too long now we have tolerated our own increasing fear of crime.
   Rather than come together, we all rushed behind the safety of our own closed, bolted doors.
   As a society, we allowed crime to drive us apart. We withdrew. Fear made us look over our shoulder and at our feet as we passed our neighbors. But we're all trying to change that and I applaud all of you who have stepped forward to say "not in my neighborhood!"
   With 26 years in law enforcement service, I cannot tell you how important it is for us all to work together, law enforcement, government and you, the citizens.
   National Night Out should stand as a reminder to everyone that you can and do control the world around you.
   You can and do send a message to criminals when you band together. You are breaking the too-long-tolerated cycle of fear and turning it back onto those who commit crimes.
   And it all begins with neighbors simply getting to know one another and making a commitment to communicate and cooperate.
   Keep up the good work you've started. Involve more people around you.
   Call on law enforcement and your government to provide you with the neighborhood tools and resources to help police yourselves and the environment around you. What you're doing is working, keep doing it and do it more often!
   It is your right to live in safety and without fear!
   Dave Reichert, King County Sheriff