Sikeston Mayor Mike Marshall was not pulling any punches
Monday when he announced the formation of a new 4-
man Housing Authority Public Safety Unit. Marshall gave
notice to the "thugs and gangbangers" that their days are numbered
in our community. He later asked if he had been too
blunt. The answer is clearly no.
As announced earlier here, the Sikeston Housing Authority is
funding this special unit that will police all public housing in our
community. The purpose of the program is twofold. First, the officers
will help to provide security and protection for those who live
in subsidized housing. But also, these officers will help to weed
out the element who temporarily stay in public housing or who
prey on public housing residents. It's that second priority that
Mayor Marshall was addressing.
The Sikeston City Council clearly recognizes that we need to
eliminate the "thug" element from Sikeston for countless reasons.
One of those reasons is that potential employers may believe we
have a bad crime reputation
and steer their company elsewhere.
Well we don't deserve
that reputation because much
of our crime comes from an
element outside of our community
who simply "stays"
from time to time. It's that element that is in for a rude awakening.
Through the efforts of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment
Authority and now this new Public Safety unit, our community is
making substantial strides to reverse years of decline. And the
signs of that reversal are abundant.
This new public safety unit will also send notice to the residents
of public housing. If those residents are helping to house the criminal
element, they too will be removed from their subsidized
dwelling because they are part of the problem too.
If you look at the success of the noise ordinance, the increased
enforcement of ordinances against eyesores and the success of the
LCRA, you know that our community is taking a pro-active stand
to remove our problems and provide an improved community for
everyone. This public housing police unit will be just another step
in the long road to permanent improvement.
I commend Mayor Marshall for his bluntness. He is saying publicly
what many have said privately for far too long. It's time that
other voices - strong voices - join in the chorus and send a clear
message to the criminal element. You are not welcome in Sikeston
and we will make sure your days here are numbered!