Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

A Case For More, And Better Public Safety

John Derby
Times Publisher John Derby

As our local communities rebound from a horrific crime that took the lives of an entire family, we ask ourselves: “Could we have done anything to have prevented this?”

Public Safety issues are up front and center in this election, and voters will have to decide: “What is the price of Public Safety?” Perhaps even more important, “Can we afford not to have it?”

It was not too long ago when we heard the cry for “Defund The Police.”


There appears to have been no more motive to this crime than simply greed. This could have happened to any family, anywhere; however, it was not anywhere, but here in our own backyard.

We made headlines on national news as the crime investigation developed. It was hard not to watch part of it on the television. It was so graphic, and in the end, the loss of the family touched us all.

While our communities might have been nationally known for something positive happening in them, now we have been earmarked as “The place where those people were kidnapped and killed.”

There will eventually be a trial, and we will be asked to relive this tragedy in time to come.

The death of this family will be mourned long after they passed away.

If there was ever any question about the importance of the people who stand watch over our Public Safety, then it is now.

Towns like Atwater have measures on the ballot to help pay for Public Safety. Merced should have had a measure, but it was forestalled by some leader on the City Council. Other local communities will debate how much of the budget will go toward Public Safety.

We can all be involved in Public Safety. Neighborhood Watch is important. How members of law enforcement are treated in our community is important. Making sure the laws governing the law breakers are important. We can not allow past offenders to return to their life of crime after being released.

Public Safety is all of our responsibility. Not someone else’s.

We can do a better job. We must!

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