By Amy Clark
According to CBS and Muninetguide.com, Indianapolis was ranked as the 12th most dangerous city in the United States. The violent crime rate for Indianapolis is 1,374 per 100,000 residents. The most common crime in Indiana is some type of larceny/theft, followed by aggravated assault. Police officers are constantly working in an attempt to lower these numbers.
Students may see Officer Derek Cox around the halls of WCHS. Cox has been a sergeant for the Whiteland Police department for almost 18 years. Cox shared what his opinion.
“I have always said this from a law enforcement standpoint; people do not pay attention to the little things, and then something else becomes the next little thing, and then something else, and then everything builds up because the same people who are doing the little things are doing the big things,” Cox said.
Cox was not shocked at all by Indianapolis’s recent ranking. In his opinion, if citizens do not follow the laws in place, things could go south from there.
“All laws are there for a reason and they should be enforced. When you turn a blind eye to small things, you create bigger problems,” Cox said.
Officer Cox discussed Whiteland’s safety compared to other cities, such as Indianapolis or New York City.
“There is no comparison; it’s not dangerous. We have almost no basic crimes against persons whatsoever except people that know one another,” Cox said.
When a violent crime occurs, the police are required to secure the scene and wait for help, as well as numerous other procedures they are required to follow. Cox suggested some tips to avoid a bad situation if you are attending activities, such as the Circle of Lights celebration during the holidays.
“Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is around you, what they are doing, what they are looking at and do not be oblivious,” Cox said.
Like Cox, WCHS teacher Thomas Rochner has lived in Indiana his entire life. He explained how dangerous he thought Indianapolis is based on his knowledge and personal experiences.
“Overall, I would say it would be about a four [on a scale of one to 10]. Of course, it depends on what part of the city. I was not aware Indianapolis is the 12th dangerous and it was very surprising. I also think there are pockets within the city limits that are dangerous; it’s unfortunate the entire city gets judged based on certain areas,” Rochner said.
Sophomore Hannah Hewitt has been living in Indiana her entire life. Hewitt gave her advice on how to stay safe, and some tips on how to avoid a possible dangerous situation.
“Keep your doors locked at night or if you are alone. Carry pepper spray or anything that could help you against an attacker. Also, make sure you have an escape route just in case an attack happens,” Hewitt said.
With the holidays, last minute shopping may be a hectic thing, and most people are not thrilled about it. Theft or robbery are also potential crimes that can happen anywhere.
If anyone sees something or someone suspicious, alert the authorities immediately to ensure safety. To all of the people in our community, stay safe and Happy Holidays!