Community responsibility could be deadly in 1970

May 30, 2012 

In light of the Treyvon Martin slaying, community members' involvement in their neighborhoods is getting more scrutiny. But in spite of the Sheriff's advice in this article to "get involved," some people still seem to think that brute force is the best teacher.

'Get involved,' sheriff urges irate commissioner

Published on July 7, 1970
By the Tri-City Herald staff

"Get involved," was the advice of Sheriff Dick Boyles when an angry Jack Williams, chairman of the Franklin County Commission, described a Sunday outing with his family.

Williams said a half dozen youth with a keg of beer grew more obscene as they drank on Strawberry Island in the Snake River about 40 yards from the family picnic spot.

"What do you do in a situation like that?" Williams asked Boyles.

The sheriff acknowledged his department might not be able to obtain a boat and reach the site in time to do any good, but said citizens need to "get involved," in such situations to aid law enforcement agencies, he said.

"What kind of society are we building?" Williams asked.

"People better open their eyes."

He thought the solution might be for four or five men to "come about that far from drowning them," Williams said, holding a thumb and forefinger close together.

Boyles warned against "popping one of the kids," in the light of court actions, but added: "There is no doubt in my mind that parents do not know where their kids are or what they are doing."

In the park across the street from the Franklin County courthouse, Boyles pointed out, people have stopped holding family gatherings.

"A long-haired type will go right up to the table, take a piece of chicken, say 'thank you,' and walk away," the sheriff said.

Williams cited the incident of someone throwing a rock through the window of the sheriff's office.

They've even stolen brass off the front of the court house in the past few days," he said. "They were there for over 40 years, but then some desperate character took them, I guess just to get the $2 or so worth of brass."

No action was taken on the problems.

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