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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Do more to stay safe



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September 07, 2011 - This is a good week for the Neighborhood Security Seminar, planned for tomorrow by Citizens Cable Committee.

Murders are rare in the Clarkston area, but we had one just last Saturday.

It's a particularly tragic and pointless one, too, involving a guy stalking a co-worker, hiding in her bedroom, grabbing her, and then shooting her parents when they run to help, killing her mother. Then he shot and killed himself.

The man was reportedly serving a community-service sentence for marijuana. Perhaps more care is needed when dealing with these people, both by the court system and those who come in contact with them in the community.

Domestic-violence-type cases like this might be a bit outside the scope of the security seminar, but some principles still apply. Stronger locks may have helped keep the stalker out. An alarm might have alerted the residents sooner.

Going through the stack of police reports every week for the Public Safety column, too many residents are still leaving computers, purses, and other valuable out in the cars and trucks, which are sometimes left unlocked, too.

As those reports as well as Saturday's murder shows, bad people are out and about in our community. Don't make it easier for them.

Domestic abuse cases are also common, though only show up in the paper when arrests are made. In one of the cases, the victim didn't even want to press charges but the police made the arrest anyway. Those in that situation might want to reconsider that, considering the lengths to which some are demonstrably willing to go.

It's also the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Not that door locks and alarms can stop a terrorist bomb or suicide attack, but the goal of neighborhood watch applies.

Watch out for each other. Get to know your neighbors. That might come in handy in coming years if the economy continues to deteriorate.

The seminar starts at 7 p.m., Sept. 8, at Independence Township Hall, 6483 Waldon Center Drive.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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