BURLINGTON, Iowa. (KWQC) — Three shootings in Burlington this week lead to city leaders and community officials with concerns about violence in the town.
Shane McCampbell, Burlington Mayor, said violence doesn’t happen often in his quiet community, but when it does happen, it’s a cause for concern. McCampbell said the problem isn’t with most community members.
“It’s a problem of people that aren’t invested in the community, they’re not moving here to live,” said McCampbell, “They’re just passing through and they want to use Burlington as a place to set up shop and peddle drugs.”
McCampbell said since Burlington is close to St. Louis and Chicago, Burlington looks like a place of opportunity for illegal activities. He said those people then cause problems that lead to violence.
McCampbell said these incidents were isolated and there is not a threat to the community, but community members are still concerned about the crimes. This concern is why Sean Jellema and Tammy King joined local neighborhood watch groups, to stop crime and violence.
Jellema said the community see’s activity with people coming in from bigger cities but he said those people aren’t always bad. He said they could be looking for a chance to start over. Jellema said violence is started when they don’t come for a better life, but rather come for illegal activity.
King believes that if everyone in the community can work together and play as a team the violence and crime will diminish. King and Jellema encourage everyone to join a neighborhood watch group to protect the community.
McCampbell supports this idea and encourages community members to stay aware of their surroundings. “I’m asking citizens to just be vigilant, keep your eyes open and if you see anything that looks a little odd call the police,” said McCampbell.
To join a neighborhood watch contact the police department or head over to Citizens Against Crime.