Most Wanted designed to protect community
Published 9:43 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
On Monday, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department joined the list of public safety organizations contributing to what has proven to be a popular weekly feature, spotlighting the most wanted criminals in the communities that we cover.
We appreciate this new partnership, and we encourage our readers to take advantage of the service these officers, along with officers with the Dowagiac and Niles police departments, are providing.
Although most of the feedback we have received on the Most Wanted feature has been positive, questions have been raised about the necessity of this feature. Some are concerned that we are shining a light on criminals who have committed what they believe to be petty crimes. Others believe we should not be publishing photographs of the criminals for sake of saving those listed as most wanted from embarrassment.
When we decided to publish this feature, a lot of thought was put into it, and we certainly considered these concerns. However, the ends seemed to justify the means, as the police are utilizing the newspapers’ reach to help capture criminals and keep our communities safe.
Regardless of the severity of the crime committed, individuals are listed as “most wanted” because they are fugitives intending to avoid arrest, which makes them inherently dangerous.
This feature was not designed to embarrass anyone, but to assist the police in protecting the people in our communities. When evading arrest, it is possible that criminals may act differently, or more dangerously, than they would otherwise, and it is important that the people who know these wanted criminals are aware of the potential danger at stake.
We applaud the efforts of the departments taking part in this feature, and thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to be proactive in keeping wanted criminals off the streets.
Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.