By Jason Sethre
Fillmore County Journal
Quite a few people in the area heard about the craziness happening in Fountain, Minn., a couple of Fridays ago. The town went into lockdown, because there were two felons on the loose who happened to be wanted for murder. It’s front page news this week, in case you missed it.
On February 4, 2023, a man in Canton attacked a state trooper out on County Road 23, pinning him to the ground. Fortunately, some passersby came to the rescue.
Then, I think back to last September 2022, when Granny’s Liquor Store in Lanesboro, Minn., was robbed in broad daylight by two men passing through town.
In spite of these threats to our ideology of what small town life should be like, I want to believe we still live in Mayberry – the often referenced iconic setting of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
But, with some greater understanding.
We can no longer leave our doors unlocked. Not our house, our garage, our vehicles… nothing. And, certainly don’t leave your keys in your vehicle, unless it’s one of your least favorite vehicles that you hope gets stolen.
I do think that setting up video surveillance cameras is a good thing. We have them at our home and our business. They have come down in price just like any technology, and they are extremely easy to set up and operate directly from your cell phone. Nowadays, most local law enforcement in our small towns reach out to homeowners to determine who has cameras and who doesn’t, so that they have a resource in the event a crime occurs in a particular neighborhood and video footage may be helpful. If there are more cameras, it will be hard for anyone to get away with anything. Yeah, I know some people don’t like having a “big brother is watching” environment, but I think the trade-off is worth it.
We do still live in a Mayberry world, with a caveat. I think we need to be aware of our surroundings a little more than in the past.
But, we cannot let a few bad actors take away our sense of security. Those encounters are rare, which should also make us feel pretty darn good about the place we call home.
As Barney Fife once said, “I ain’t got time to stand around here and discuss trivial trivialities.”