Hancock County’s recent run of homicides is troubling. It’s another reminder that we are not the quiet little city that we once were.
Yes, we’re still small, but big-city crimes, like robberies, drug activity, overdose deaths and yes, deadly shootings, are becoming more and more a part of our everyday life.
So, what are you going to do about it?
Certainly, police and prosecutors and judges can’t be expected to do it all, solve all our crimes, send everyone to jail or prison, and make us all feel safe in our homes.
Community safety requires the effort of many: the older couple who keep watch on their neighborhood from a living room window; a business owner who pays for parking lot security cameras to protect his customers; a deliveryman who knows an unfamiliar vehicle or person when he sees them.
We all need to pay closer attention to the things that go on around us, and report suspicious activity when we see it.
Since this time last year, five people have been murdered in Findlay and Hancock County. Three were shot, with only one of the shooters identified and prosecuted to date. The attacker of a man who died of injuries he suffered in a fight in a Findlay bar’s parking lot is yet to be charged. The killer of a young woman, found earlier this month in a ditch in Cass Township, is still at large, too.
Some places would be thrilled to have just five murders in a 12-month period. Columbus had 140 homicides last year, Cleveland 128, Toledo 39.
But five feels like 50 to us. One is too many.
Somebody knows more about each of the unsolved murders than investigators do right now. Somebody saw something that no one else did, and can assist investigators in solving the case. Somebody has heard someone say something that is more than a rumor.
As a member of this community, we all have a moral obligation to share the truth with those who can use the information to bring justice to the victims’ survivors.
Findlay and Hancock County have always had their share of crimes, even occasional murders, and there will always be some cases that can’t be solved.
Yet, two unsolved homicides in one week should have everyone’s full attention. It’s only February.
Hancock County will only remain a better, safer community than others if we do a better job of watching each other’s backs and help authorities do their jobs.