Violent crimes should serve as a wake-up call

Students often choose to attend Northern Michigan University with the mind set that it’s located in “safe little Marquette.” According the Marquette Police Department, crime rates may remain one of the lowest in the country, but that does not mean that crime cannot happen. Over the last year, a few events have served as a reminder of this.

NMU and Marquette got a taste of fear last February when a shooting threat was uncovered on campus. News spread statewide, throwing our little university into the public eye and making parents question the safety of NMU. An incident this week served as another wake up call as a Marquette man was killed after a shooting. A meth lab was discovered in the suspect’s apartment, the second lab of this type found in Marquette this month.

Although our Page 1 story might sound more like a crime committed thousands of miles away in a metropolitan area, it’s important to realize that the U.P. isn’t a kindergarten classroom. Crimes can happen here, just like anywhere else. Students who live in the area surrounding the crime scene got a healthy dose of reality in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

As kind as the average person walking down Third Street may be, there are people with bad intentions wherever you travel. Cars will still be broken into, housing will be burglarized and valuables will be stolen.
Although Marquette is a paradise for many, that does not exempt residents from tragedies. At the end of August, a Gwinn girl fell 100 feet off a Presque Isle cliff. Numerous students and others have drowned while swimming to Picnic Rocks in Lake Superior. Cliff jumping off of Black Rocks and Dead River Falls causes countless injuries year after year.

Irresponsible actions can lead to serious problems in any small town, and Marquette is no exception. Alcohol and drug abuse can land students in the hospital. Careless, drunk or distracted driving claims lives in our area every year.

While it’s never a good thing to live in constant fear, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings. City police remind us to lock our doors and windows, remove the keys and valuables from vehicles and to report any suspicious activity. By being alert and involved, we can all help prevent future crimes and help law enforcement officers keep our community safe.