Give officers the credit they deserve

Not every law enforcement story ends in tragedy or controversy. And not every law enforcement story receives the kind of attention it deserves.

Monday’s incident at the Highway 30 overpass above Center Street ended peacefully and without injury or worse because officers from the Marshalltown Police Department and Marshall County Sheriff’s Office were there, on the scene, working diligently to save a man’s life.

Without question, their efforts to negotiate a resolution with the man and then hoist him to safety is nothing short of heroic.

And yes, I really mean heroic.

I will concede that the word “hero” is overused by members of the media. That’s because we sometimes get caught up in the sensationalism that often accompanies the big news stories that feature giant headlines and dramatic theme music playing in the background on cable news TV.

But on Monday, the MPD officers and the deputies at the MCSO were simply doing their job in protecting the public and saving the life of a man who was clearly troubled. Those are heroic efforts and they should be lauded.

Now I know Police Chief Mike Tupper and the officers there would have been pleased if myself and our summer intern, Adam Sodders, had not been there to cover the incident. But we were, not only to document what happened, but more importantly, to share some insight into what happens on an almost daily basis when law enforcement is confronted with a volatile situation.

After we posted a photo and short story on our website and Facebook page, the public’s reaction was overwhelmingly positive:

“Great job to our police officers! I hope the man finds peace through this crisis in his life.”

“Also would like to thank the police department for working as a team and preventing this man from hurting himself. No one other than the ones there will never know what kind words and comforting you men and woman said to this man but God bless you all for being heroes!”

“Great Job to our Officers of the MPD. Thank you for keeping this town safe.”

“Thanks to everyone who prevented a horrible tragedy from happening and I pray for the man who must be going through some very bad issues.”

“Great job MPD so proud.”

“Way to go!”

“Really glad to see a positive post about the MPD. Hope this man gets the help he needs.”

“Great job guys.”

And that’s just a small sampling of what was posted online.

After only a few hours on the T-R’s Facebook page, more than 15,000 people had been engaged by the news of what local law enforcement had done in an effort to save one man’s life.

It’s clear this short story, featured on today’s front page, has merit and there is great value in reporting something positive about the men and women who face these challenges every day.

There’s a lot of “bad news” out there, and law enforcement across the country are under intense scrutiny for some things that have occurred.

But make no mistake, the vast majority of peace officers out there are dedicated professionals who need to be recognized for their diligence and hard word. And you won’t find any finer examples than right here in Marshalltown and Marshall County.

Jeff Hutton is the Times-Republican’s managing editor. Contact him at 641-753-6611 or via email at: jhutton@timesrepublican.com

Give officers the credit they deserve

Not every law enforcement story ends in tragedy or controversy. And not every law enforcement story receives the kind of attention it deserves.

Monday’s incident at the Highway 30 overpass above Center Street ended peacefully and without injury or worse because officers from the Marshalltown Police Department and Marshall County Sheriff’s Office were there, on the scene, working diligently to save a man’s life.

Without question, their efforts to negotiate a resolution with the man and then hoist him to safety is nothing short of heroic.

And yes, I really mean heroic.

I will concede that the word “hero” is overused by members of the media. That’s because we sometimes get caught up in the sensationalism that often accompanies the big news stories that feature giant headlines and dramatic theme music playing in the background on cable news TV.

But on Monday, the MPD officers and the deputies at the MCSO were simply doing their job in protecting the public and saving the life of a man who was clearly troubled. Those are heroic efforts and they should be lauded.

Now I know Police Chief Mike Tupper and the officers there would have been pleased if myself and our summer intern, Adam Sodders, had not been there to cover the incident. But we were, not only to document what happened, but more importantly, to share some insight into what happens on an almost daily basis when law enforcement is confronted with a volatile situation.

After we posted a photo and short story on our website and Facebook page, the public’s reaction was overwhelmingly positive:

“Great job to our police officers! I hope the man finds peace through this crisis in his life.”

“Also would like to thank the police department for working as a team and preventing this man from hurting himself. No one other than the ones there will never know what kind words and comforting you men and woman said to this man but God bless you all for being heroes!”

“Great Job to our Officers of the MPD. Thank you for keeping this town safe.”

“Thanks to everyone who prevented a horrible tragedy from happening and I pray for the man who must be going through some very bad issues.”

“Great job MPD so proud.”

“Way to go!”

“Really glad to see a positive post about the MPD. Hope this man gets the help he needs.”

“Great job guys.”

And that’s just a small sampling of what was posted online.

After only a few hours on the T-R’s Facebook page, more than 15,000 people had been engaged by the news of what local law enforcement had done in an effort to save one man’s life.

It’s clear this short story, featured on today’s front page, has merit and there is great value in reporting something positive about the men and women who face these challenges every day.

There’s a lot of “bad news” out there, and law enforcement across the country are under intense scrutiny for some things that have occurred.

But make no mistake, the vast majority of peace officers out there are dedicated professionals who need to be recognized for their diligence and hard word. And you won’t find any finer examples than right here in Marshalltown and Marshall County.

Jeff Hutton is the Times-Republican’s managing editor. Contact him at 641-753-6611 or via email at: jhutton@timesrepublican.com