On dark news day, trouble comes in threes to the city

These were the Page 1 news highlights for last Thursday’s edition of the Sun-Gazette:

Drug overdoses killed two more people locally in recent days.

Meanwhile in Lycoming County Court, a third drug charge against a heroin dealer resulted in a 5-year state prison term.

Under the heading of “trouble comes in threes,” residents of the city’s West End were meeting with city officials to discuss a plan to stop a wave of damage that has been going on at Newberry Park, most of it involving juveniles.

The triplicate of unsettling news underscored the difficult times Williamsport and the surrounding area are dealing with these days.

We wonder how many lives will be lost to tragic overdoses before those trapped in the lost world of drug usage get the help they need to avoid the predictable ending to such addictions.

We applaud stiff sentences like the one issued last week for the dealers of illegal drugs.

They are the willing traffickers of these demons of death.

Without them, much of the problem would not exist.

They must be dealt with accordingly for fueling this scourge against viable lives.

Then there are the reports in Newberry of damaged cars, harrassment of residents, and other malicious acts.

Many of the city’s leaders, including key public safety players, met with residents Wednesday to promise more patrols in the neighborhood and a police presence that will include officers walking around and talking with residents.

It’s old school crime prevention work with a proven track record of success.

Whether it’s aborting drug usage, stopping the illegal drug trade or maintaining peace in our neighborhoods, passivity won’t solve the problem. Only aggressive movements against the root cause.