The staggering killing of a father and son in the comfort of their Metairie home is a call to action for all of us. We know that the police cannot be everywhere all the time. As citizens, we must do our part to help the police in their difficult job of protecting our lives and property. We can no longer assume that “nothing ever happens in our neighborhood.”

We need to stay vigilant and be aware of our surroundings. Locking the doors on our vehicles and our homes is our responsibility. I live in a “safe neighborhood,” but the other day one of my neighbors’ cars was broken into. The car was not locked. He is locking it now.

In another “safe neighborhood,” the home of my son was burglarized. He did not have his alarm on. He now puts it on every time he goes out of the house.

Yes, I know that we can’t live our lives in fear every day, but we can pay more attention. It’s not like the “good old days” where neighbors sat on the front porch and talked about their day. Those gatherings were a warning to some that were bent on criminal mischief. It was the social media of the past but a lot more personal. We need to re-establish that sense of watching out for each other.

The senseless murders of David and Nicholas Pence have also brought me to the realization of how important the use of cameras has now become. I once thought the identification cameras placed on our streets were an invasion of privacy. I don’t anymore. As in this case and many others reported on the news, we can see the tremendous role that cameras play in helping police catch the bad guys.

Like many of you, I am praying for the Pence family, their neighbors and friends for having to go through this terrible ordeal. And I pray for our law enforcement personnel that are charged with the awesome task of protecting us every day.

Louie Congemi

former Kenner mayor

and Jefferson Parish councilman

Metairie