Two shootings have occurred in Brick over the past week and three teens have been injured. When a 17-year-old was arrested yesterday in connection with the latest shooting near Brick Memorial High School, it should have allayed parent's fears.

After all, having someone in custody should have them breathing a sigh of relief. But according to a petition on change.org signed by more than 3,000 people, parents are demanding to know exactly what Brick Mayor John Ducey's plans are to stop violence and gang activity in the town. The petition reads, in part: “As a concerned parent of three children who will be going through Brick's public school system, I want to know what the town's plans are to curb gang violence and restore the safety of the town.”

Petitions always make people feel better, and I get it. When you feel helpless, when there’s nothing else you can do, start a petition! But really, what can law enforcement in Brick do that they have not already been doing? There were several police forces involved in this latest arrest, by all accounts great police work, and cooperation from citizens with security cameras to nab the suspect. And of course, we should assume that township police are ALWAYS working hard to ensure the safety of the residents of Brick.

Sometimes, though, in every town, people slip through the cracks. Criminals slip through cracks — that’s what they do best. The police are only human beings and unless there is a one to one ratio of law enforcement to citizens, there is no way to prevent bad things from happening in the town. The police are clearly doing their jobs and sometimes in life bad stuff happens. A petition demanding that Mayor Ducey outline his “plan” to curb violence in Brick Township is kind of banal, if not futile.

After all, bad guys will do what bad guys will do and the good guys will always try to stop them. But, petition away! At least it makes you feel like you’re somehow in control and can prevent bad things from happening. You’re not, and you can’t.

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