The Rocket can help out more with crime prevention through reporting

Published by adviser, Author: Jonathan Janasik - Commentary, Date: April 4, 2013
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I’ve seen things. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine. Things that would make you sick to your stomach. Underage drinking, driving under the influence, parking violations, damaging grass, public indecency, and vandalism.

This town is full of criminals. Every week there are more and more names listed in the Rocket’s police blotter. You have to wonder where all these people are coming from. The worst part of it is that these criminals aren’t exclusively freshmen. Freshmen through seniors are listed on a regular basis. You can’t trust anybody!

The question is, how can we stop these crimes from happening? Social programs? Don’t be stupid. By proclaiming that SRU is a “dry campus”? That’s cute.

What Slippery Rock needs right now is a hero. But whom can we trust to clean up this town? President Norton stated that she regularly picks up the litter that covers the streets of the town. One could assume that she would also be able to cleanup the drunks that litter the street as well. But no, it’s too dangerous to risk one of the most valuable members of the campus community by sending her out to fight crime by herself. In fact, I think she should stay barricaded in home with an elite team of bodyguards until we get this crime wave all sorted out.

Sure, we have the Slippery Rock police department. They’re the ones that catch these criminals in the first place. There is only one problem, they have to do their job by the books.

Now if you’ve seen the Dark Knight before, you know what the problem with going by the books is. It just doesn’t work. Even after the police manage to arrest the Joker and put him in jail, it’s just a matter of time before he is back on the streets blowing up hospitals.

Similarly, while the Slippery Rock police may be able to capture “Underage Johnny”, you know that he isn’t going to be locked up forever. Soon enough he is going to be back on the streets, free to blow up hospitals as he pleases.

How many hypothetical hospitals have to explode before we start taking crime seriously?

Depending on the crime, punishments for breaking the law range from fines to being forced into taking corrective classes.

Fines may sound like an effective way to scare people away from committing vile acts, but you have to remember that we’re all college students. For the most part, we’re in so much debt that money doesn’t even mean anything anymore. Losing a little bit more than $100 doesn’t really seem that bad when you consider that you’re already in debt over $20,000.

Often students rely on parents for financial assistance, so some students might just foot the bill to the old folks without even looking at it. That will show them!

As for the mandatory classes, we’re talking about badass lawbreakers here, chances are that they wouldn’t even pay attention to what was being said. They would probably just end up sleeping through the class or Snap Chatting each other pictures of boobs and monster trucks.

So what are our options? I have two ideas.

First is the death penalty, obviously.

The second, and arguably better idea is to scare potential criminals through the use of humility.

Currently, the police blotter serves as the scarlet letter for the law-breakers on campus. It’s entertaining to read, and I think it would be embarrassing to appear in it. But I think we can take it a step farther.

If the police were to provide more in-depth information to the Rocket, we would be able to write exciting stories that would not only be incredibly entertaining, but would also strike fear into anybody who is even thinking about breaking the law.

For example let’s take a made up completely random and generic name and make up a crime. Let’s say a freshman named Tom Smith was cited for public indecency. Currently, that is pretty much all that we would find in the police blotter. But if we had more information, you would see something like this:

“Freshman Physical Education major Tom Smith was cited for public indecency when he was caught peeing on the Senior Rock while singing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. When the police approached him, he began to run away with his pants still down. Within three steps he tripped over his pants. When the police tried to apprehend him, Smith stated, ‘Don’t mess with me, I’m on the wrestling team.’ The wrestling team refused to comment. Police stated Smith cried like a baby the whole time.”

This news story would appear on Google every time that anybody would search for Tom Smith. Instead of his parents paying the bill, he would be forced to take responsibility for his own actions. The best part is that you know that his friends would never let that go, he would be punished for all eternity.

People would read the Rocket and see how harsh the punishment is, and maybe that would make them think twice about breaking the law. It’s a win for the police, it’s a win for the Rocket, and it’s a win for everybody who loves to read hilarious stories.

This crime spree is going to continue until something changes. If Batman has taught us anything, it’s that it’s not just the police department’s duty to spread justice. Everybody can help. As the News Editor of the Rocket, I want to help. The Rocket is the hero Slippery Rock deserves.

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