Law Enforcement in The Community of Shartlesville

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January is the start of a New Year; a time when many are celebrating their New Year’s resolutions and enjoying a day off from work. This year, the community of Shartlesville, Pennsylvania had no such luck. I woke up that day and almost swallowed my toothpaste (not to mention my toothbrush). I looked out the window of my bathroom to see the door to my Ford Explorer wide open. I ran out the front door, shoe-less, to take inventory. The Garmin GPS unit, a gift I received for Christmas, was missing. The dashboard of my vehicle was destroyed. Someone tried to take my car's radio, but broke it instead. I thought maybe I left a window down, but the broken glass scattered across the driver's side of the car suggested otherwise. Looking down my street, many of my neighbors were in the same situation. Broken glass and tears covered the streets. Crime is an increasing problem in Shartlesville; we must stop treating it casually and seek help to put an end to it. Many people have never heard of Shartlesville. The quaint village is in a very rural area of Pennsylvania. Shartlesville is a town surrounded by miles of beautiful farm land and the rolling hills of the Appalachian Mountains. Its population consists of a mere 279 people (Shartlesville Community Summary Information). If a crime were committed, one would think locating the perpetrator would be simple with a population so small. This is not so. Finding a culprit is very difficult when no one is looking. In December 2008, Christmas decorations cover the town. I stopped home to grab presents preparing to make the long drive to my parents' house. I approach the back door, keys in hand, and see that it is already open. Inside my currently under-construction home, I see fresh foot prints ... ... middle of paper ... ... The residents of Shartlesville need a police officer to keep the streets safe. If an officer is not hired, crime could continue to rise and it won't be just eggshells we are cleaning up anymore. We could be sweeping up the ashes of a home from a prank gone too far. This outcome isn't confirmed, but do we really want to wait and see what happens? Nobody wants to increase taxes, but each resident has been effected in some way by the crimes. Within the past two years, some of them have lost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars already from the robberies or vandalism. A mere twenty-eight dollars a month to eliminate heart-break caused by neighborhood malevolence, seems so minor when you compare it to what it will do for the community. It's time time to protect our families, our community, and our spirits. It's time to seize the day and say yes to local law enforcement.

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