‘Why would anybody want to be in law enforcement?’

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“I’ve been thinking“ came to mind when I was asked to start writing these articles. Those of you who have read the newspaper for many years may remember Fred Cederholm and how he introduced his articles. Knowing Fred for many years, I believe it is a great way to introduce my first article.

I was fortunate enough to know Fred for many years, he was probably one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I’ve ever met.

These interactions began when he would bring his Plymouth Sundance or “Little” PT Cruiser into the shop and continued when he would stop by my wife’s grandmother’s front yard when he was with his mother and while he was on a walk with his little Scottie dog.

Fred was never shy or quiet about things he believed in. He lived by values that have made this community what it is today. Fred gave unconditionally not only to his family but also to the community that he loved. 

I will never forget his reaction when he was given the Cedarholm Award, named after his late father, at Creston Booster Days. The sheer surprise on his face said it all and he didn’t think he was doing anything exceptional or worthy of receiving such an award, but that is exactly how many in this community think of themselves.

I bring all this up because I believe that it accurately represents the men and women in law enforcement within this office that I was elected to represent. Nationwide during the last year, law enforcement has had its struggles, but we continue serving.

Our mission at the Sheriff’s Office and law-enforcement in general is to protect the citizens which we represent. This is how we approach every day, every call and every interaction with the public.

While the state legislature took steps to change this approach in protecting the citizens, rest assured the men and women in this office have your best interest in mind. I’ll be the first to admit that times do change and there is a need to modernize some aspects of law enforcement, but a wholesale change will not create safer communities.

It won’t make this a better place to live, and it certainly won’t be a place where our kids want to stay. Why do I have to say all this? HB3653, the Bill that legislature recently enacted, has been similarly enforced in other parts of this country with negative results.

The increase in crime, the increase in shootings, the increase in protections for criminals and the reduction in protections for victims are the facts. They are in black-and-white, presented by the record crime numbers from Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and on and on. 

These changes haven’t made citizens safer. Yet, law enforcement is still there protecting those communities but more importantly protecting the citizens they were sworn to represent.

The number one statement that I hear whenever I’m out in public is: “Why would anybody want to be in law enforcement?” And it goes back to Fred Cederholm, someone who dedicated his life to his family and his community without ever expecting anything in return.

I see law enforcement in this very same light. The men and women of this office put on the uniform every day, leave their families and drive out into the community to protect us. They make sure those values that have been here for generations will continue for generations to come.

The men and women of this office want to make sure our children want to come back to this community and raise their kids and continue the process, because it is the right thing to do. 

“I’ve been thinking” and I hope you will too.