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Children are the victims

While writing two news stories on Monday, I don’t think my head ever stopped shaking.

One story was about three people being arrested in connection with a string of burglaries involving the suspects contacting real estate agents, telling them they were interested in looking at homes for sale, and then stealing jewelry and other valuables while inside the home. The other story was about the 24 drug-related arrests—all for meth—the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department made in the month of February.

It’s hard to believe that many people in the county possessed, distributed or manufactured meth, and the deputies I talked to said the number could have been much higher had they more time and manpower. Drugs were also the motivation behind the home burglary scheme, the deputies said.

But what really distressed me was the innocent victims these people brought into their crimes. Though I feel for all those that had property stolen from their homes, I’m talking about other victims.

Three of the 24 people that will be charged with drug related offenses will also be charged with the unlawful endangering of a child. And the law enforcement officers caught up with the home burglars as two of them picked up a child from Meadowview Elementary School in Alabaster.

It was important to get these criminals in jail, but it is pitiful that some child had to see the arrest take place.

I feel for the children that have had their innocence taken away by someone else’s drug habits, but I am glad to see local police officers doing what they can to get drugs out of our communities.

–Stephen Dawkins is the assistant managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser.