Safe in your neighborhood

I’ve always felt safe in whatever neighborhood I’ve lived in.

Why? I’m not entirely sure. Not all were upscale or in high class sections of town. I just never had any trouble with my neighbors or outsiders.

My children always felt safe to play in our back or front yards… sometimes, even in the streets, although I did discourage that.

My younger daughter was accident-prone growing up. I preferred she play on the grass. I couldn’t afford emergency rooms trips.

Not everyone can say they are as comfortable as I am. Still, when I hear that Sunnyside has been named the third safest city in our state, I get excited.

Only Snoqualmie and Oak Harbor ranked higher than Sunnyside in a posting that came out Monday from Alarms.org. I don’t know too much about that organization, which apparently tracks crime rates. I’m just happy Sunnyside earned such high distinction.

West Richland and Enumclaw were also in the Top 5. Our neighbor to the east – Grandview – was ranked sixth for low crime rates.

Being named safest town is a good feeling.

While having a proactive community police department plays a big part in stopping the bad guys, I believe neighbors keeping an eye on one another is the key to a safe environment — basically making it uncomfortable for bad guys to prey upon people.

I have to agree with a former Daily Sun News Co-worker, Rod Smith, who commented on my Facebook page “…The vast majority of people who live in there (Sunnyside) are good hardworking, honest people.”

And, granted, there have been times when Sunnyside has received some bad press. By in large the people here always look out for each other.

I’m a firm believer in neighborhood watch groups. The annual National Night Out event each August used to support block parties. The events were an opportunity for neighbors to gather on sultry, summer evenings for front yard barbecues, games for adults and children, and visits from the local city officials and policemen… just a great time to socialize and compare notes about changes in the surrounding area.

Knowing who lives next door takes away the fear of the unknown. Knowing your neighbor’s children and watching over them helps make this a safe place in which to raise the next generation.

Staying alert is a worthy goal and I’m glad we’re being recognized as a safe community.



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