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Letter: Don’t take law enforcement’s value to community for granted

It had been my intent to write this letter for the past several weeks, but like most people I sometimes put things off. Recent news reports, however, prompted me to write.

A few months ago, my business was burglarized, an upsetting event to say the least. The upside, if there was any, was the opportunity to experience firsthand the response of the Bemidji Police Department and Beltrami County Attorney’s office. Most of us only interact in minor ways with local law enforcement and sometimes it isn’t a welcome experience. In this case, it was both welcome and eye-opening.

I received a call from our security company late one night. When I responded, the police were already on scene securing the building. They had responded within minutes and had recovered some of the missing items and were searching the area. At all times I was treated with professionalism and kept informed. Within 48 hours, they had a suspect in custody. Shortly thereafter, I received information from the court system and the victims’ advocate. Police officers continued to keep me informed as did the County Attorney’s office. When the suspect, a few weeks later, was transferred to another facility, I got a call from the local jail informing me of the status.

There is more to this story, but the point is it made me realize what an outstanding job local law enforcement did and their value to our business community. I think we all realize this is a high-crime county and law enforcement isn’t exactly overstaffed. Despite this, these underappreciated men and women did excellent work in my case and I offer them my admiration and thanks. When I see a police car I still slow up a little or quickly snap my seat belt, but I have a much better appreciation for the work they do on our behalf.

Ken Howe