Column: WPD officers deserve our thanks
WORTHINGTON — Since the George Floyd death and subsequent unrest in Minneapolis and around our nation in the last month, many in our community have expressed hope and support for our local police officers. Many times people in our community have said, “Don’t you dare try to defund our police department.” Many have said we need to support and honor our local police officers.
I wholeheartedly agree with these statements. The Worthington Police Department is a great force because of the officers on patrol and the leadership of Troy Appel. It's not easy being an officer of the law these days, and even to find the will to come to work some days. Because of the tragic and unlawful actions of a few, offices in law enforcement — the good officers of which there are many — pay the price in the eyes of the public.
There is no question that we need to root out and remove these bad actors, but let’s not judge and hold the good officers in a bad light. No profession or person is perfect and never will be. I hope that in each encounter between an officer of the law and a resident, there is respect shown by BOTH sides.
WPD officers show compassion, human kindness and good will every day. Whether it is the local officer stopping to play a pickup game of basketball in the park, to the officer that had a friendly little snowball fight with some neighborhood kids (and I am told the kids were winning) or just stopping to lend a hand to someone in need, our community is the better for it. The WPD works hard to gain the trust of our ethnic communities and to develop relationships in the many cultures of Worthington.
Please join me in saying thanks to our officers, they deserve it. Many live in our community and raise their families here as we all do.
The announcement that a protest would take place in Worthington — which came only a day after the peaceful turned violent protest in Sioux Falls, South Dakota — was a bit unsettling to say the least. Many in the community were a little uneasy after all the violence reported in our state and the region.
The local organizers did a great job in organizing this event and keeping it peaceful. They were very respectful of all the private property during the protest, and it was huge success.
Thank you to the organizers (I apologize for omitting anyone) such as Jessica, Aida, Cheniqua and Gunnar.
Thank you to all the businesses that came out and showed their support by handing out bottles of water to the protesters.
Thank you to city staff led by Steve Robinson, Todd Wietzema of Public Works and the Worthington Fire Department for working hard to ensure the safety of the protesters.
Thank you to the entire Worthington Police Department, led by Troy Appel and Nate Grimmius, that walked with the protesters and in turn honored the victims of police violence.
Worthington can be very proud of all who participated in this event.