Baby-boomer birthday: Thinking about life on the morning of my 61st birthday
George Foreman waffles with my family on my 61st birthday

Observations about having serial killer loose in our city, Lansing, MI

For more than a month, we had a serial killer loose in Michigan's capital city, Lansing.  As a resident I could feel my gut tightening and I found myself being more wary of my surroundings.  Yesterday, they arrested the person suspected of killing five women.

Some observations:

  • It's too easy to put the responsibility for protecting citizens just on the police and city officials.  I caught myself raising my eyebrows at statements from both the police chief and mayor about their crime fighting efforts.
  • The reality is that we couldn't hire enough cops to stop somebody bent on hurting people.  The answer?  At least, part of it, is that we've got to take responsibility for each other.  Neighbors need to be real neighbors who care.
  • Local churches can be a major crime-fighting tool.  If they practice what they should be preaching, they can see the needs and help fill them.  How many churches in the city of Lansing have that kind of commitment?  I don't know.
  • We certainly have to remember the victims of this killer and others.  But what about the perpetrator?  Shouldn't we try to understand what made this person, if he is the guilty one, do what he did?  When were those seeds planted in him?  What could have turned this person in the right direction before all this happened?
Just because they've made an arrest, I don't think we should breathe a whole lot easier. 

There needs to be an ongoing community discussion about life in this city and how it can be improved.
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