I know I shouldn't copy/paste stories from the media, but this story by Jordan Vandenberge with Eyewitness News is important enough it needs to be shared with our community anyway it can. To many crimes are going unpunished in this city due to a lack of cooperation by those involved and by those who witness them. The only way to reduce crime and take back our neighborhoods is for the community to do it's part to help our local law enforcement officers arrest and charge the offenders. It's time to end the silence. Here is Jordan's story:
By: Jordan Vandenberge
Updated: June 8, 2012
When it comes to investigating violent crime, cooperation from the victims is key. But it's a key component that is oftentimes missing. Evansville Police say they have and will continue to do their part and it's time for the community to do theirs.
There's passion behind the badge. There's a passion to serve and protect. But for Evansville Police Sergeant Jason Cullum, passion turns to frustration because of a lack of cooperation.
"When we don't get cooperation and the same old excuses, they aren't reasons, those are excuses that really aren't viable anymore," said Sgt. Cullum. "The communitiy needs to come together as a whole to address that."
To address things like the numerous alleged gang-related videos popping up on Youtube. The violence that continues to be bold, brazen and sometimes brutal was punctuated by Thursday's shooting on Taylor Avenue.
The shooter remains at large but it shouldn't be that way.
"Some of it is people just don't care," said Sgt. Cullum. "At the shooting scene yesterday, the suspect is still at large and people are letting their kids out in the street like nothing happened. To me, that's shocking."
Even more shocking is the fact that police couldn't pursue 42% of violent felonies in 2010 because the alleged victim wouldn't cooperate. Police believe this affects everyone, including the smallest of victims.
"If you refuse to participate in that process you are just as much of a problem as the shooters," said Sgt. Cullum. "You're allowing them to roam free around all the children including your own."
There's passion behind the badge of Sgt. Jason Cullum. But after yet another southside shooting, it's the frustration that hits close to home.
"The first house I lived at was in the 800 block of Madison," said Sgt. Cullum. "I learned how to ride a bike in that neighborhood, I had friends in that neighborhood. When I was a kid, you could go out and do those kinds of things and not have to worry about gangs."
"When I got on the police department, I went back into that area to work the street to try to make it a nice place to live so kids like me had a chance to grow up in a safe environment.. So, yea, it's very frustrating."
EPD has participated in countless community outreach programs, like the Citizens Academy, the last few years. But Sgt. Cullum says to find long-term solutions to long-term problems, it's up the community to be honest and open to reality.