Our View: Hiding crime hinders correcting it

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Last week on the front page of this newspaper was an unfortunate story regarding the events that took place in the evening hours of Cinco De Mayo in Historic Folsom. 

The incidents involved a handful of what was described as physical altercations in various areas along the street. One store stated on social media that their store front porch was vandalized. Others stated on social media that someone had been attacked and robbed. Monday morning, calls and emails were coming into the Telegraph about the unfortunate events. Area merchants were upset as were some in the community.

Upon looking into these reports, a call to the Folsom Police Department turned up records that the Police had indeed responded to reports of fighting at a couple of different locations during the evening, however, the parties involved chose not to file reports for anything.

The Telegraph detailed this in our story as that is our service to readers. While we strive to find the good news in the community, the negative and unfortunate news finds its way to us. It’s not something we enjoy and it certainly is nothing we embellish as professionals. In this case, this newspaper delivered a bit of both angles, the more positive being that the claims of robbery could not be confirmed.

Regardless of our balanced and factual report, one particular merchant was upset that the newspaper covered the events in the fashion that it did, chalking it up as not being neighborly.

As a community newspaper, that recently won several statewide awards, the Telegraph is known for having well-balanced content in all of the issues we produce. We strive to bring you the unique stories, the good stories and the fun stories. However, now and then we are in a position in which a negative situation must be reported on.

As this topic arose this past week, it brought something to the surface that needs to be done. It’s not fiction that crime and mischief have increased in our quaint historic district. Many blame the homeless situation, others blame light rail. A common comment we see and hear is that the area needs more police presence or paid security at night.

While many or all of these claims may be valid in one way or another, there is one common denominator that is slowing down the process to combat the issue. Simply put, if you want the situation to improve or change, you have to follow the proper steps and the biggest one of those steps is filing a report with the police department.

In Folsom, we have one of the best police departments in the state. Our departing chief made great accomplishments in fighting crime here during her tenure. Our new chief is a veteran officer and a resident here who will carry on that legacy. However, they can’t do it without your help.

When it comes to increasing security or police presence, the process involves statistics and reports. By accurately making reports of these situations, we are truly setting the ground work for change. We can blame the many that visit the area or the fashion in which they get here, we can blame the newspaper for not “hiding” the incidents, and we can blame social media all we want. The bottom line is, be vigilant in letting our police department know when these events break out, file a report as necessary and even your local media can help by bringing these news events to the limelight for those who can make a change to see. If we focus on these steps as a business community, corrective and effective solutions can be achieved.

- The Folsom Telegraph