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Starting over in the New Year

The events of the last few days have been troubling, especially considering it’s the holiday season.

On Monday, the death of a man in a house fire on Washington Avenue in Brookhaven increased the death toll to three during this Christmas season.

Tragedies like this are difficult at any time, but even more so this time of year. It certainly isn’t how the city hoped to close out a year marred by death.

We hope to turn a page on this year and turn a new leaf in 2016. With the new year comes new hope, new horizons and the opportunity for a fresh start.

Brookhaven is surely hoping for less violence in the new year, but it won’t happen just because we hope for it.

Resolutions are often made and rarely kept, but let’s resolve as a community to push back against crime and violence in 2016.

How can we do that?

We can talk to law enforcement if we suspect a crime has occurred or if we have information about a previous crime.

We can strengthen relationships with neighbors around us, and commit to watching out for those neighbors.

We can reject violence as a way to settle disagreements.

We can lock up more criminals.

We can offer help to those trapped in a cycle of drug addiction.

We can reach out to those we know are struggling to do what’s right and help guide them down a better path.

We can pray — both for the criminals around us and those tasked with arresting them.

We can decide that Brookhaven will be known for its generosity and love, and not for its crime.

We can make a difference, no matter how small, in the life of a child.

We can — and we must — resolve that 2016 will not be a repeat of 2015.