THE U.S. Justice Department released some disturbing statistics this week. Violent crime is on an upswing across the country.
That sobering revelation comes after a downward spiral for nearly two decades. Making matters worse is the rise was a marked one, jumping 18 percent.
Leading the way was a spike in assaults, which rose 22 percent. Next in line with a 14 percent increase was home burglaries.
While the numbers are national in scope, the Ohio Valley has definitely felt the brunt of increased criminal activity recently.
Few, if any, sections of our area are foreign to major crime. That point is punctuated by the brutal murder of a 92-year-old woman. The killing was horrifying enough, but occurring in a once peaceful and residential area makes it even more resonating.
While two suspects are now in custody, it is a crime that has Ohio Valley residents living with much more anxiety in their lives. If such a heineous attack can happen in West Bellaire, it can be repeated anywhere throughout our area.
The Justice Department's report reinforces the role our police departments and other law enforcement agencies play in our daily lives. Until something of grave nature occurs, we often take them for granted.
Fortunately, in Eastern Ohio we can say with pride we have some excellent police forces.
For that, we should be thankful. In return they should be given the respect and support they have justly earned.