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Editorial: Officers' efforts were heroic

High-speed pursuits through residential areas are fraught with danger to the public and unsuspecting motorists that may get in the way.

But the decision of Park Rapids police to continue a chase up County Road 1 was the right one, even though it likely scared the bejesus out of the neighborhood.

The fleeing suspect was a danger to the public, perhaps more so than the chase itself.

Officers Carrie Parks, Dan Garner and Police Chief Terry Eilers deserve commendations for split second thinking and cool reactions that probably saved lives Tuesday.

Garner's maneuvers to keep the fleeing car in its own lane were heroic.

No one was seriously hurt, including officer Parks, who was dragged by the fleeing vehicle nearly two blocks.

It could have had another outcome, and the worst-case scenario shouldn't be dwelled upon.

But the truth of the matter, as Parks herself admitted, is that police work is dangerous when you least expect it.

Park Rapids and Hubbard County should take pride in the fact that both police officers and deputies are well trained and have good leadership. Deputies joined the chase along with State Patrol officers. All deserve a thank you.

It's a tough call to make in the heat of the moment when adrenalin is pumping and you have to decide whether to continue or abandon a chase. Garner went home after the day, ate dinner and went to bed. He was spent.

And although it might have been tempting for him to manhandle a suspect that dragged his partner and injured her, Garner took the utmost caution in apprehending the fleeing woman once the chase stopped. Restraint is the hallmark of a good officer.

Parks escorted the suspect to the hospital, then jail, before seeking treatment herself, then was on the job bright and early the next day.

The chief, unflappable, took it all in stride and praised his officers.

Citizens should never question officers' dedication to the job. We saw it in spades Tuesday.

Parks could have taken the day off. No one would have begrudged her. But she dusted herself off and went back to work, setting an example for all officers.

For the professionalism all the officers exhibited Tuesday, some unnamed, great job.

We owe you one.