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Enterprise Editorial: Police face deadly risk every day

Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer was the 10th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty this year in the United States – eight of them slain by gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police deaths across the U.S.  Law enforcement officers in Park Rapids, Fargo, St. Cloud, Hubbard County, everywhere know the danger exists every shift. The potential is there for something as tragic that happened in Fargo just last week to happen here in Hubbard County.  

In Minnesota, there have been 239 police officer deaths recorded, and of those 130 officers have been killed by gunfire.  Moszer’s death follows several line-of-duty deaths in the region in recent years including Mahnomen County, Aitkin County, the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Bismarck, N.D.  Police officers face the unknown every day. Whether on a routine traffic stop, domestic disturbance, investigating a burglary, suspicious vehicle, fight in progress, or making a drug arrest, any situation can turn violent in seconds.  Officers responding to a call don’t know what’s behind the door to a house, who is inside the vehicle on that dark township road, what the guy out of control on drugs has in his pocket.

The high-speed chase that leads to a foot chase into the woods, abandoned building or someone’s home. Officers don’t know how the violent offender in a domestic dispute is going to react at the scene.  All these risks are real and happen often. We’ve been lucky here things haven’t escalated to the point of what happened in Fargo. There ertainly have been incidents close as officers have wrestled to maintain control of criminals looking to hurt them.  Following the death of the Fargo officer, Park Rapids Police Officer Justin Frette challenged the Park Rapids community to wear blue last Friday in a show of support for the family and Fargo P.D. The Thin Blue Line, an emblem representing the camaraderie of police officers, reaches across the country.  Frette put out the word on social media to the good folks of Park Rapids.

“We truly are appreciative of all the support you have shown us, but also the support you show to other communities that are needing our support. We can’t thank you all enough for the kind words and the support you show by changing your display photo to show respect for the Fargo Police Department and to Officer Moszer and his family, during these difficult times.  Frette went on to write, “Never stop believing in the Park Rapids Police Department and law enforcement as a whole. We understand that people are not going to like us or the job we do, but we try to do this job with kindness, respect and dedication.”  Frette speaks for all law enforcement and he’s exactly right.

Our local officers with all departments deserve our respect and appreciation for what they do. Not just in these times of tragedy but every day.  They go out every shift to serve and protect our communities. Law enforcement has seen a lot of negative press recently across the country. Fortunately, that hasn’t spilled over into Park Rapids and Hubbard County.  Sure, there’s going to be those breaking the law who don’t like cops. That’s the criminal nature and many will do whatever they think it takes to not go to jail that day, at that time.  Support our local law enforcement officers so they all make it home to their families every day, after every shift.