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WTVM Editorial 03/25/22: Voters’ #1 Issue: CRIME

WTVM Editorial 03/25/22: Voters’ #1 Issue: CRIME
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 12:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We all know there have been entirely too many homicides in Columbus.

There’s no shortage of opinions on just why violent crime, often taking the lives of very young men and women, plagues the city.

And there is certainly more than one answer to turning around this difficult reality.

A recent measure of just how important the issue of violent crime is, can be seen in the high number of questions on crime submitted by our viewers for the candidates in the first WTVM Mayoral debate we aired live last week.

The two non-partisan candidates for Mayor, incumbent Skip Henderson and challenger John Anker each made solid anti-crime arguments, both about what has been accomplished and what still needs to happen to make the city safer.

In a 2020 list of homicides by state, Georgia ranks 6th in the nation.

Across the country, St. Louis is the city with the highest murder rate: 65 murders for every 100,000 people.

By contrast, Columbus has 21 murders per 100,000 residents.

Skip Henderson reminded voters that, for the most part, police know the identities of many gang members.

Most murders happen among people who know each other.

John Anker told voters it’s impossible to admire the beauty of our city, as we would the architecture of a house, because the kitchen is on fire.

Anker says there needs to be a higher sense of urgency to bring outside law enforcement in, like the GBI, to make more arrests.

Henderson told the live audience and viewers at home that Columbus has surveillance cameras already helping police make arrests, with 3,000 even more sophisticated cameras still to come.

Anker countered by saying the key to lowering the crime rate is not just cameras, but recruiting, retaining and supporting hundreds more police officers.

Both Skip Henderson and John Anker are smart and capable men, true public servants, committed to making Columbus better.

WTVM never endorses any candidates, but we will continue to cover the mayor’s race – now just a little more than two months away.

We live here too, and we all need to make informed choices in the voting booth about the future leadership of Columbus.

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