Last Modified: Monday, June 18, 2012 6:36 PM
The latest outbreak of violence in Welsh applied another coat of stain to the town.
In the wee hours Friday, somebody kicked in a door and shot a man and a woman in a home.
That’s understandably disconcerting for the residents of Welsh, once considered tranquil and peaceful, but now earning a haunting reputation following two unsolved fatal shootings in 2011.
To its credit, Welsh’s Town Council held a special meeting on Saturday to get community input. Listening to residents’ concern can be the first step to resolving the problem.
Residents said they don’t feel safe, that violence is getting worse in the town and that it may be beyond the Welsh Police Department’s ability to quell and/or solve it.
It doesn’t help that Welsh police continue to lay speed traps on Interstate 10 for lead-footed drivers, even though it is manned by off-duty police whose wages are paid for by a grant. That speed enforcement detail implies that the police force is more interested in nabbing speeders along I-10 than fighting crime in the town. When there are shootings and drug deals in the town, what is the imminent danger that speeders passing along I-10 present to the good folks of Welsh?
That speeding detail suggests misplaced priorities and a possible addiction by the police to the fines, which have nothing to do with officers’ sworn duty to protect town residents.
Of course, no amount of police presence can guarantee an absence of crime.
Just Thursday, Lake Charles had a similar incident when a 23-year-old man was fatally shot and a 62-year-old woman wounded in a residence on North Cherry Street. Two children, ages 7 and 3, in the home were unharmed.
The difference, though, is that the Lake Charles Police Department arrested a suspect about 18 hours later and charged him with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
No matter what the investigating agency, however, police can’t do it alone. They need eyes and ears of neighbors and truthful witnesses willing to not only tell police what happened, but just as willing to go to court and testify under oath.
At Saturday’s meeting, some Welsh residents said they were afraid to confide in the Welsh Police. Welsh Assistant Police Chief Donald ‘‘Lucky’’ DeLouche said residents can report to a variety of agencies, including state police, the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.
The Rev. Jerry Jackson of New Hope Baptist Church said it’s time for Welsh residents to pull together.
Like it or not, Welsh is earning a dubious reputation.
The only way to remove that tarnish is for every law- abiding and sensible town resident to realize they have a stake in their community and that they each must do all they can to see that those who don’t abide by the law go to jail.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: Neil On: 6/20/2012
Title: state troopers are part of problem
State troopers in welsh iowa area are more interested in giving tickets to people going 5 miles over speed limit but they run and hide from the real criminals........shows how corrupt the state troopers are......................sad that troopers rather raise money for cronies instead of protect us............