Community will rally itself

Published 7:44 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

By now it’s fairly common knowledge that Demopolis tripled its number of homicides this year in a matter of a few seconds Thursday evening.

A death at someone else’s hands is one of the most heinous offenses imaginable, but in the newspaper business that’s a situation that beckons our profession.

Thursday’s instance was somewhat unique. It happened only a handful of blocks from this office while most of us were here working.

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Demopolis is still an extraordinarily safe place to live and work but an event such as a murder – especially one so close to where you spend so much of your time – puts you a little on edge.

I’m proud to call Demopolis home and my family and I have never for one second questioned the quality of life here, homicide or otherwise.

As crass as it sounds, these things happen.

They happen everywhere, the only difference being how the public reacts to them.

There were 110 murders in Atlanta in 2006. That’s about one murder every three days.

By comparison, Demopolis has seen three acts of such violence this year.

Is Demopolis any less safe than it was earlier this week? No.

Thursday’s events just served as a violent reminder that big city problems surface in small towns, too.

Our sense of security lies in the brotherhood that our city was founded on; the fact that Demopolis has flourished when similarly situated locales struggled; that the men and women who make our city great are the same people who make our city safe.

Thursday’s shooting was an aberration of normal life here in our small town. We lean now on our police force as they search for an alleged killer – a killer who as of right now may still lurk among us.

The sense of community and civic pride that make events such as this a rarity will be one of the keys that help bring resolution to this case.

If you have any information regarding Thursday’s shootings, I urge you to call the Demopolis Police Department’s tip line at 289-1475.

Note: Jason Cannon is the publisher of the Demopolis Times.