Big changes, but some things are the same

Published 2:13 pm Saturday, January 15, 2022

The first month of this new year is not even half over, and already there are some big changes in Suffolk, particularly in the realm of public safety.

Suffolk Police Department Chief Alfred Chandler was announced as the selection to fill the role permanently after having been there on an interim basis since June 2020. And new Commonwealth’s Attorney Narendra Pleas was sworn in as the city’s top prosecutor after winning an open race occasioned by the retirement of longtime prosecutor Phil Ferguson.

We wish Chandler and Pleas the best in their new roles. But we also want to remind folks that one vital thing about public safety in Suffolk hasn’t changed, and that’s the importance of community involvement.

Both the Suffolk Police Department and the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office have a long history of ensuring that citizens know they are one of the most important crime-fighting tools available and actively building partnerships with those citizens. They have done this through a variety of programs, such as National Night Out participation and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office’s annual Citizens Academy, which enabled folks who signed up to get a close look at the inner workings of the prosecutors’ office and learn about how they personally can help stop crime. This program was particularly championed by Ferguson, who was adamant in his belief that a more educated, involved and connected citizenry can help stop and deter crime.

We couldn’t agree more, and we hope to see these initiatives and others like them continue when it’s once again safe to gather. In the meantime, we urge Suffolk residents to keep in mind that if they have any information on potential criminal activity or if they simply see something that’s out of the ordinary, the best thing to do would be to report it to the police.