In the March 9, 2011 edition of the Times Gazette newspaper a story about the arrest numbers in Highland County, Ohio was published. As a resident of the county and a life long affiliation with the village of Greenfield, I wasn’t pleased with what I saw. We all know that drug related crime is rampant in America and for several years we’ve known that Highland County has had its share. What we may not have known, until the sheriff released recent information, is just where the majority of this crime is centered.
A study of the included map clearly shows the majority of crime in Highland County to be in Madison and Paint Townships. These are the two townships I just happen to live in closest proximity to. I look at the map and see myself surrounded by both a God-fearing, law-abiding, friendly, community of old-order Amish and seemingly the county’s largest concentration of addicted thugs. One I take comfort and pleasure in, the other makes me want to buy more door locks and a bigger shotgun.
The Times Gazette story (Click HERE) also points out that in Madison Township the bulk of arrests were felonies and in Greenfield almost all were. So, if you live in or around Greenfield, try taking comfort knowing you are, by far, living in the most dangerous part of our county.
At the moment two individuals have left comments at the end of the Times Gazette story. One suggesting it is time to bring in state and federal authorities to help deal with the problem and another in agreement and further suggesting we, “…need doctors to offer treatment…”
Well, I have no idea regarding what state and federal assistance is available and how easily it could be gotten. As the comment mentioned, ours is not the only area of the nation dealing with these problems and government funding at all levels is in short supply. But, I certainly wouldn’t turn away any outside help should it come our way.
Regarding the doctor issue it pains me to know that the voters of this county just turned thumbs down by a 2 to 1 margin the continued support of drug addiction programs in our area. The 5-county measure did eventually win by the slimmest margin but, nevertheless, in Highland County it was soundly defeated. Apparently our citizenry would rather fork out money for higher theft insurance premiums, lock their doors in fear each night, and spend countless tax dollars on hiring more police, employing more public defense lawyers, and the horribly high cost of incarcerating those convicted.
Something has to be done and realizing our local law enforcement agencies aren’t large enough to deal with the problem isn’t rocket science. The sheriff has said our problems do not result from a down economy; they are the consequences of the popularity of drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. I’m not sure I totally agree with that but it would only help if we were to see additional quality employment return to our area. In the meantime I would suggest the county commissioners, the sheriff, local community leaders, and police agencies begin engaging the residents of our area into helping to solve the problems. Maybe a county-wide citizens watch program would help get the word out that Highland County is not a safe place to buy and sell drugs.
Whatever the answer I’m sure many of you have some thoughts. I invite you to let this be a forum where your thoughts can be made known and I will see that they are brought to the proper authorities.