“Time for Law Enforcement to Back Up Its Citizens, Not Turn Its Back”
Last week I read in The Times (Pryor Creek, OK) that Diana Reeves lived in a peaceful neighborhood for 33 years.
In a house down the street, there seemed to be a lot of visitors. At first it was during the day. The visitors rapidly increased to any day and anytime. It evolved into a sort of drive up system. A car would pull over in front of the house; someone would exchange sacks and run back into the house. Then a lookout was added. After a few months of calling the sheriff, she had enough and went to the police station. No results. As any good citizen would do, she said enough and took the additional courageous step of taping the activities as well as recording vehicle license plates. Armed with some great information, she gave it to Sheriff Frank Cantey. Cantey assured her they would like to get these guys. Problem solved, results expected shortly. But over a 14 month period, only one off-duty officer stayed on her street for about 90 minutes. That’s about .00015 of 1% over the 14 month period devoted to stopping this meth house. Since the activity magically stopped during the one-time surveillance then reappeared 20 minutes after the officer left and the neighborhood NEVER had any follow up police work, one must wonder what’s actually going on. Is it deliberate indifference, other priorities (in the #1 area for pseudoephedrine sales in the state?) or something as nefarious as a Sheriff gone bad?
A cheap shot at law enforcement? I don’t think so. This could have been the scenario in any town in Oklahoma. With our top narcotics enforcement agent Darryl Weaver, calling for greater regulations on Oklahoma’s law abiding citizens instead of catching these guys, is it any wonder that bad attitude has made its way to the local level? What a lazy way to solve a problem – ignore it until it gets too big, then punish those that are playing by the rules.
The problem isn’t the medicine; the problem is law enforcement being viewed as lazy, not tenacious and slow to act.
With the police calling for citizen involvement and with Diana Reeves not only answering that call but going beyond what should be expected, and being ignored, I wonder what kind of message law enforcement sitting on its hands sends Oklahoma's tax paying citizens and how cheerful criminals must be smiling. Let's hope this period of law enforcement sitting on the sidelines ends soon and that good folks like Diana Reeves can go to bed at night knowing law enforcement has her back as opposed to turning their back on her and the rest of its citizenry.