Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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April 23rd, 2010

Rise in crime should be no surprise

Crime in Sullivan County is up an astounding 32 percent since this time last year, and it should be a major concern to all of us.

The amount and types of crime Sullivan County has per capita is a crystal clear statement and indication that we need some urgent change here.

The quality of life in Sullivan County has been depressed for a long time, and we cannot place the blame on our summer population for these high statics either. This is a year round problem.

The simple truth is that high unemployment rates, wide spread illegal drug use, and expanding public assistance needs bring crime.

Misconduct is nothing new to any region, but what is happening here is alarming. Not only are the types of crimes being committed scary, but so too are the ages of the defendants. Teenagers, young adults are being arrested for crimes such as robbery, rape, gun possession, drugs, and violent assaults. The list goes on and on.

People are becoming increasing more fearful to walk the streets in the Village of Monticello, Liberty, and Fallsburg at night.

We are very fortunate in Sullivan County to have superior police forces. The amount of arrests and crimes solved by these hardworking men and women who risk their lives for us is inconceivable, and must be commended.

The average law abiding citizen understandably has no clue as to what is going on here, unless they walk into a local courtroom and witness firsthand those appearing before one of our honorable members of the judiciary.

Those that commit the most severe crimes end up in the courtroom of County Court Judge Frank LaBuda. An observer in his courtroom will quickly get an eerie feeling of disgust and disbelief as one criminal after another enters in handcuffs and shackles wearing orange prison garbs. In all probability an average citizen will initially be in shock, disbelief, and amazement.

Our law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and members of the judiciary are doing an outstanding job in arresting, convicting, and sentencing.

Programs such as DARE, Dream Tank, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and others are working towards preventive measures to combat crime. Sadly, it is not enough.

It is becoming increasingly easier for our youth to be persuaded by gangs and other forms of peer pressure. Many turn to selling and taking drugs because they cannot find jobs and have no other quality of life.

A vast majority of our young adults who attend college do not stay here because they have no job opportunities.

On Sunday night I attended the Monticello Police PBA’s annual comedy show at Kutsher’s. Regrettably, even there I got a touch of our crime wave. Under Sheriff Eric Chaboty was standing next to me speaking on his cell phone, when he got off the phone he told me the Sheriff’s Office had just arrested several youths defacing a bungalow colony with anti-Semitic markings including swastikas. We both looked at one another with disgust and anger.

Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell has been working around the clock since taking office in January prosecuting cases. He is often seen in the office working on weekends and into late hours of the evening because he wants to ensure justice is served.

Farrell told me he was concerned about the increased numbers. “Of particular concern is the fact that felony and DWI arrests were up substantially. These numbers reverse a trend of decreasing crime statistics from 2005 through 2009. The pendulum may be swinging back the other way, and we must be prepared.”

The freshman DA applauded the police for their “tireless efforts” in combating crime. “My office is working extremely hard to make sure justice is done in every prosecution.”

Farrell said he means business in prosecuting criminals apprehended, “Those who violate the law and hurt others need to know that they will be detected, apprehended and vigorously prosecuted and held accountable and responsible. Acts of violence and aggression will not be tolerated. I cannot, and will not as District Attorney, allow a small group of people destroy the quality of life for the majority of law abiding citizens.” Thank you, Mr. Farrell.

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