Published on December 4th, 2011 | by Todd Smekens1
Drugs and Violence in Our Community
The announcement included below was sent to Ball State employees, but let’s share it with all citizens. There has been way too much violence in that area as local drug-using residents see early morning college students as easy targets. This must stop!
Without much speculation, the motive was most likely to get money for drugs. As a community, we are well aware of harmful effects of drug and alcohol use, but it costs the community much more than most realize. Crimes toward property and persons increase as drug users seek money for their ever-increasing addictions. As this happens, we quietly move our personal property inside hoping to avoid becoming the next victim. One of the local papers publishes daily police blotters containing crimes committed, but they are not scratching the surface of the problem plaguing Delaware County.
We must ask ourselves, are we ignoring the problem, so we don’t have to discuss the solution?
More police in the streets will help deter some crimes, but while our new Mayor can focus on public safety, there needs to be a strong collaboration among local organizations to improve drug and alcohol awareness, accompanied by even stronger efforts to offer practical solutions. This should be one of the top priorities for community leaders.
If allowed to continue, our poor reputation among prospective students and their parents, employers, and residents, will prevent them from entertaining us when comparing alternatives. Our focus is on developing a new culture for our children and grandchildren, so as we pursue “master plans”, we must develop equally strong plans for deterring alcohol and drug usage/abuse.
We only need to look at our low Robert Wood Johnson & University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute rankings of 81 out of 92 Indiana Counties as confirmation of the health consequences. Prospective employers do review these facts and figures very closely when determining where to relocate. Health care providers like IU Health/BMH will be looking more closely at these wellness indicators as health care reform becomes further implemented.
The trends of employers experiencing workers who are intoxicated on the job, or having accidents due to abusing both prescribed and illegal drugs must be reversed. Muncie and Delaware County can no longer afford this reputation. We can improve our wellness indicators and reputation with leadership and collaborative efforts by all stakeholders to include both private and public sectors.
So, as we award master plans for redeveloping our downtown, we cannot ignore what is occurring in the neighborhoods surrounding our city center which creates artificial barriers preventing many residents of Delaware County from supporting the Village and Downtown businesses. Community denial does not work – we need practical solutions and leadership.
The BSU alert stated:
Please be aware that three assailants attempted to rob a student in the Village near the corner of University Ave. and Dill St. on Friday 12/2, at approximately 3:45 a.m. All three were Caucasian and of “non-college age.” At least one was armed.
University Police encourage students, faculty, and staff to remain vigilant about practicing good safety habits. Do not walk alone at night. When walking at night, remain aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions such as talking on a cell phone or listening to music. If you see suspicious activity, report it to campus police immediately by calling 765-285-1111.
Charlie’s Charter provides free transportation on a first come, first served basis on university-owned or controlled property. For a ride, call 765-760-RIDE (7433) or 765-285-5005. For more information, visit http://cms.bsu.edu/About/
AdministrativeOffices/ ParkingServices/Services/ CharliesCharter.aspx.