Tipster power leads to shooting arrest

04/20/2014 5:08 PM

04/20/2014 5:08 PM

There is relief for commuters today. They can go back to worrying about traffic tie-ups on our major highways, not about terrorizing bullets. The arrest and charges pending against a Grandview man for wounding three drivers and hitting more cars with bullets ends a frightening crime wave.

The danger changed behaviors, some for the better. Federal, state and local law enforcement tirelessly worked together well. Citizens answered the call to report tips. Politicians kept faith with those working the case, resisting the temptation to assign blame during the lengthy hunt.

Cooperation and collaboration among multiple city police agencies across state lines should not be an anomaly. It should be the expectation.

We’re not there yet. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, in praising the teamwork, indicated it’s not the norm. Citizens should expect more of this as the area continues to grapple with an unacceptably high violent crime rate.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, at Friday’s news conference announcing the arrest, urged more citizens to step forward with tips to fight crime: “But for tips from the public, this apprehension may not have happened.”

But for more tips in the future, more crime will occur, or go unsolved. As James said, it takes some bravery to report suspicious behavior or step forward as a witness. But it’s far better for all of us than living in fear.

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