Policing experts agree: the best way to reduce crime is to the stop it before it happens. Intervening before a young person on the edge turn to a life of crime is the best course for a safe and prosperous city.
However, changing hearts and minds before somebody gets hurt is more difficult than raising a cop's pay or buying a squad car.
Just this week, that reality was reinforced when a coalition of ministers, law enforcement officials and concerned citizens met to discuss an uptick in violence in 2008, including nine local homicide victims whose lives were cut short by a bullet.
The consensus sounded Thursday night at the "Stop the Violence" roundtable was that we can't arrest our way out of Anniston's growing crime problem.
The Rev. Jeffrey Williams owns Anniston Funeral Services, the scene of Thursday's meeting. He said, "We just funeralized a young man yesterday that was murdered, and it bothers me. As a funeral director, I don't need the business that bad."
Well said, reverend.