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EDITORIAL — We want to do our part to stop crime

Public safety reporting should be a top priority for all news organizations.

That is especially true for our reporting team at The Port Arthur News.

Our county has been torn up by violence in recent weeks that has far expanded from criminal-on-criminal altercations to strike our most precious commodity — our children.

On July 15, one or more assailants shot as many as 21 rounds into a home at Beverly Place Apartments, striking a 6-year-old boy in the process.

According to Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr., the boy, who was sleeping on the couch when the shooting occurred, was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont for treatment.

Thankfully, he has since been released from the hospital.

An early morning drive-by nine days later on July 24 in the 5600 block of Port Arthur’s Grant Avenue left a 4-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to his back. Upwards of a dozen shots were fired that morning, striking the home and multiple vehicles.

Those shootings represent an extreme in local violence, but they also represent actions that no longer feel like isolated incidents.

In an effort to properly catalog, report and inform on these dangers, The Port Arthur News has dedicated a position specifically to public safety reporting.

Veteran News journalist Mary Meaux is working the assignment now, with a goal to report on crime happenings while also shining a light on the many men and women who are making a difference in law enforcement.

Gone are the days of simply reporting a story based on the “arrest report blotter list.”

We look to tell the stories behind the crimes and celebrate the people making a difference on the front lines of our safety.

We need your help for this to happen, so if you have a tip, story or concern dealing with public safety that deserves our attention, please drop us a line.

Mary Meaux can be reached at 409-721-2429 and mary.meaux@panews.com, while publisher Stephen Hemelt can be reached at 409-721-2445 or stephen.hemelt@panews.com.