Sometimes Valencia County gets a bad rap. Sometimes people think it’s more violent here than it really is. Sometimes we think the grass is greener on the other side of the county line.
Here, it was the end of July before the county has racked up its first murder of the year. That’s a pretty good record, especially considering that Bernalillo County, just a few miles up the freeway, is experiencing a banner year for homicides.
We’ve had quite a few non-fatal shootings; no one is downplaying the fact that violence does exist here. We all know it does.
But, way too often, people who live in this county refer to it as a place where the bad outweighs the good. And that simply isn’t true. There are few places in the entire nation at which violence hasn’t come calling. The rich and famous are getting charged with crimes with as much regularity as the poor and unknown. Even Beverly Hills and Brentwood out in California have their share of violent ends.
Maybe if we didn’t joke about how bad things are hereabouts those people up north wouldn’t be able to look down their smug noses at us.
What has made this change for the good? Is it better policing? Is it the gangs having been run out? Is it America’s going through a post-Sept. 11 period of caring more for one another? Whatever it is, let’s hope it continues — and let’s give ourselves a little pat on the back.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.