Don’t lose focus of city’s bright spots

Don't lose focus of city's bright spots Between the Lines By David Lias Kudos to Tim McClelland, a Vermillion man who played a key role in the apprehension of the two people charged with the July 1 armed robbery of Davis Pharmacy. For his assistance, Vermillion Police Chief Art Mabry presented McClelland with an award Monday at the start of the Vermillion City Council meeting. The night before the robbery, the two suspects had contact with Tim. â�?�?He thought their actions were rather suspicious, and gave us a call. An officer responded and took the information, and although the information didnâ�?�?t rise to the level of being a crime, it definitely put these two individuals on our radar screen,â�? Mabry said. After the drug store was robbed, police were able to quickly put two and two together, thanks to McClellandâ�?�?s information, and realize that the two individuals that were brought to their attention were most likely the suspects. We mention this because, sad to say, robbery is becoming a too familiar crime in this country. A key target these days is banks. The FBI just released stats from 2007 that show in just one quarter, robbers made off with $23 million in cash and police recovered only $10 million of it. More than 1,500 banks and other savings institutions were robbed in three months of 2007. An amazing number of crimes have not been solved. According to the FBI, investigation to date has resulted in the identification of 718 (37 percent) of the 1,959 persons known to be involved. Of these 718 identified persons, 310 (43 percent) were determined to be users of narcotics, and 154 (21 percent) were found to have been previously convicted in either federal or state court for bank robbery, bank burglary, or bank larceny. Here are some interesting facts from the FBI site: â�?¢ Robbers like to pull a job on Fridays more than any other day. â�?¢ Branch offices get hit the most â�?�? by far. â�?¢ The person most often killed in a bank robbery is the robber himself. Bank robbery deaths are very rare: only five deaths nationwide in the entire year and four of them were robbers. â�?¢ The bank robbery capitals of the country are California, followed distantly by Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. There is good news to report, however. Our part of the country, which the FBI describes as the West North Central region, is not a highly popular target for bank robbers. There were 75 banks robberies in the West North Central region reported in 2007, along with four bank burglaries, zero bank larcenies and one case of bank extortion. Missouri, Minnesota and Iowa had the most robberies, at 26, 22 and 11 respectively. Nebraska and Kansas followed, with eight and seven robberies. South Dakota only had one. Mabry presented McClelland with a plaque from the police department in honor of his assistance to local law enforcement. He humbly accepted it, to the applause of members of the city council. â�?�?I think as a citizen of the community â�?�? this should be something that every person should do,â�? McClelland said. â�?�?Iâ�?�?ve spent 16 of my 39 years here, Iâ�?�?m raising my family here â�?�? I just want this to be a safe community.â�? McClellandâ�?�?s sense of community indeed should be recognized. He sets a fine example for all of us Vermillion citizens to follow. And now for something completely different. When something negative, like an armed robbery, occurs in a small, close-knit community like Vermillion, itâ�?�?s easy for our focus to stray away from what makes our city a good place to live. Prevention, a magazine devoted to health and physical fitness, however, couldnâ�?�?t help but notice that weâ�?�?re a unique place. Every year, Prevention partners with the American Podiatric Medical Association to come up with a list of Americaâ�?�?s best walking cities. This year, they picked the 10 largest cities in each state and ranked them based on dozens of criteria, from the number of parks and schools to ozone levels and crime rates. Guess what? In South Dakota, there is no better walking city than Vermillion. Prevention found that more people walk to work in the home of The University of South Dakota than anywhere else in the state. Vermillion also has more parks per square mile than anywhere else in South Dakota. When someone in our community tells you to take a hike, itâ�?�?s a compliment.

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