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Opinion

Heimerman: See something wrong? Don't mind your own business

Mind your own business.

In many instances, it's a reasonable request.

Stare at me too long at the intersection, and you're going to give me the creeping willies. Mind your own business.

Think I shouldn't helicopter over my kids so much? Mind your own business.

How about this scenario, however: You know the guy at the bar, or walking down the sidewalk. Wasn't he arrested recently for stalking so-and-so, and didn't show up for court?

How about this one: That girl sitting in her car, I thought she was court-ordered to not be near that guy's house.

Or: Did the guy in the apartment next door just really yell that at his girlfriend? OK, what was that noise? It sounds like she's in danger.

And hey, that guy's been sitting in his car outside the office for going on two hours. That's not normal.

For all of our sakes, don't mind your own business. If you know something's not right, report it.

The DeKalb Police Department processed about 500 failure-to-appear arrest warrants last year. They prioritize them as best they can, and actively pursue the most serious offenders – people accused of violent, sexual, and domestic crimes – but there's only so much one department can do.

Leaders of the DeKalb and Sycamore departments and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office tell me they're constantly trying to work together, and with the courts, to improve communication. They're also trying to work better with all 100,000-plus of us in DeKalb County. That's a lot of boots on the ground, a lot of eyes that can spot something that's not on the up-and-up.

My family is moving to DeKalb today. Hard as it is to say goodbye to the house where my girls took their first steps and threw their first tantrums, I couldn't be more excited to become a DeKalbian. DeKalbite? What do I call myself now?

I digress.

My point is, no matter how much I helicopter over my kids, there's only so much a parent can do. I've heard so many glowing reviews of DeKalb County, had so many people tell me they love the community and its friendliness.

So, yeah, I'm pumped. But I've got a favor to ask:

As my kids grow up here, if you see something not quite right going on around them, don't mind your own business. Say something.

• Christopher Heimerman is the news editor at the Daily Chronicle. He can be reached at cheimerman@shawmedia.com.

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