Crime Prevention Corner It’s time for prudent action, not for panic

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        With the outbreak of the coronavirus, it is time for acting prudently but not for panicking.
        If you have been to a grocery store recently, you know what I mean by panicking.
        There are things we can all do or not do to make the situation easier to live with. Law enforcement is asking people to call 9-1-1 only for emergencies, not to ask questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Such questions should be directed to state and local health department officials.
        People are also being asked to contact their primary care physicians for non-emergency medical issues rather than to call 9-1-1 or show up at a hospital emergency department. Having too many people in the ER not only overwhelms the facility and its personnel, but it can lead to further spread of the virus or other contagious maladies.
        Our police department has had to make some changes, too. Whenever possible, we are handling as many issues over the phone to avoid any unnecessary personal contact. We have also had to cancel all Neighborhood Watch meetings until further notice. Our chief has pointed out our primary objective in law enforcement is to protect the public, and canceling these meetings at this time does just that.
        People are hoarding basic necessities and germ-killing products like it is the end of the world. Bottled water and toilet paper are at the top of the list, right along with milk, eggs, and bread. I saw one person get very rude with another customer as the two both reached for the last carton of eggs at one store. As I witnessed this, I wondered how much longer will it be before fist fights break out.
        A few weeks ago, police had to close a furniture store that was going out of business because people were fighting over merchandise and others were walking out of the store without paying. If this is what happens with furniture, can food be far behind?
        We don’t know how long this situation will last or how bad things may actually get before it’s all over, but how we all treat one another during this trying time can be a key to how well we come out of it.
        Just like New York residents in the aftermath of 9-11, we can all come together and help one another. Do you have an elderly or disabled neighbor? Take a moment to check on them. This can be done without personal contact by calling them or talking to them through a door.
        If that person needs something, think of ways you can help them. If that person is unable to cook or has difficulty with it, take him or her some food. This not only helps the person, but it will make you feel better as well.
        Authorities are telling us things will get worse before they get better, but the true mark of a fine human being is how that person conducts him- or herself in trying times.
        This article is a public service from the Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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