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Arrest totals saved lives

Some things are impossible to quantify, impossible to measure the true impact, leaving us to simply make logical conclusions about the results.

That couldn’t be more true of the 415 drunk or drugged driving arrests the Ohio State Highway Patrol made in Lawrence County in 2008.

How many lives were saved because the patrol took these criminals off the streets, getting them out from behind the wheels of one of the deadliest weapons in the world?

Of the 415 arrests made countywide, 67 were considered injury crashes with two listed as fatalities.

It is impossible to know the impact these arrests made but it is a safe assumption that the patrol saved lives by keeping our highways free of drunk drivers.

We applaud the patrol for these efforts — and challenge them and other county law enforcement to do even more this year.

The City of Ironton can do more. The village police officers can do more. Even the patrol can do more.

As much as we would like to think that 415 arrests is a significant contribution to making our communities safer, the reality is that this is just a fraction of the motorists who break the law, drive intoxicated and endanger the lives of others.

We certainly don’t want to see law enforcement go too far and violate the rights of citizens but the solution is clear: Don’t break the law and you won’t have anything to worry about.

In recent years, the patrol stepped up surveillance within the city of Ironton and took a lot of criticism for it from some citizens. But we would welcome that increased presence by any law enforcement.

Safe communities start with strong police presence and we welcome that from any agency that can save lives.