Viewpoint: January 18, 2012

It was a relief to see some good news in the end of the year crime statistics released by the Baton Rouge Police Department. Within Baton Rouge city limits, detectives handled 64 murders last year. While just one is too many, this is the lowest number in five years.

Unfortunately, there was little time to reflect on that bit of success. This year, we have dealt with one murder right after the other in just the first few weeks. To  date, there have already been six killings in our parish. Four happened in the first week of the new year alone.

The New Year is off to a dangerous and deadly start and it's something that must be addressed now. Experts say it starts with bringing value back to life itself for young people. Killing people over drugs or disagreements is all too common. Actions like these lead to one of two places: the cemetery or the penitentiary.

Making inroads into this deadly problem isn't easy. It takes law enforcement, parents and the community all working together. It takes people not being afraid to speak up. And, sometimes even that isn't enough. But, last year's decrease shows while it's difficult, saving more lives is possible.