This bad behavior has to come to an end
Each week Victoria Metcalf, our assistant editor who reports on law and order, culls through the Official Crime Reports (OCRs) from the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office.
They provide a window into what is happening in communities across this county. There is usually a wide selection of calls ranging from reported bear sightings, to vehicular accidents, to missing persons, to drunk drivers, to burglaries, and the list goes on. Sometimes the OCRs include some humorous items to bring levity to the otherwise serious nature of the reports.
This week’s blotter felt different. As I went through the editing process, those charged with reviewing the entries commented on the harsh nature of the vast number of reports — some of which were removed for brevity sake. We can’t devote the entire Regional section of this newspaper to the Sheriff’s Blotter, though some weeks we feel as if we could — there are so many calls for help from the area’s citizens.
What we found alarming as we were working on this issue were the numbers of incidents involving domestic violence (particularly when children were present). There were also reports of neighbors fighting neighbors, of individuals acting out in businesses or in public, and other episodes of aggressive behavior. Read in its entirety, it was bleak, and one can’t help but ask the question: “What is going on?”
Some of it is clearly attributable to mental health or drug and alcohol issues, but is there something else at play? It would appear that people are angry and on a short fuse. It also appears that the accepted norms of behavior may be changing from “Think before you speak or act” to “Don’t hold it in; say what you think! React!” We all need to hit a giant pause button and think before we act.
This escalation in rhetoric and violence is concerning, not only for those directly involved, but those who inadvertently cross paths with this behavior. And it’s even more of a concern for those individuals who must put themselves directly in the path of this violence — our local law enforcement officers and first responders.
Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous calls that law enforcement officers must respond to. And we are aware that this sometimes expands to include fire personnel and first responders as they rush to the scene of a plea for help. The trend that we witnessed this week makes us appreciate the work that they all do on a daily basis to protect the people of Plumas County. Thank you.