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Pay attention to Tupper’s articles, columns

It is difficult to keep an upbeat attitude during this pandemic with the restrictions imposed on our daily lives. Thus, for me it was a jolt to see Police Chief Mike Tupper’s column in the June 20 Times-Republican, “Does everyone hate us?”

When he questioned everything, including his career choice, I wondered how the community could remain positive. Tupper has been one of the strongest, positive, reasonable voices in Marshalltown for many years. For him to have doubts was not a good sign for the rest of us. However, he went on to make several good points in the article.

In his opinion, there are social justice reforms that are necessary and overdue. However, defunding the police is certainly not the answer. Because of underfunding and understaffing of social service agencies it has been up to the police to perform many of their functions. This has put great strain on officers and made it difficult to recruit.

He talked of giving a voice to the poor and minorities who are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. He ended the article by noting something the vast majority of us agree with — not everyone hates the police. We respect our police department and are dependent on them for our safety. His closing thoughts were we can fix problems by working together, by listening and by loving our neighbor.

The Times-Republican covered Tupper’s visit to those protesting George Floyd’s murder. He was quoted as saying, “I think they are bringing positive attention to a worthy cause. We support them and stand with them.”

The protesters have stayed committed to their cause without resorting to the destruction of property and without violating the law. I am sure the chief’s words contributed to a peaceful demonstration of the people’s right to protest.

The Times-Republican ran Tupper’s latest opinion on Aug. 1, “We can have a better tomorrow,” which should be read by all in our community. He acknowledges the path ahead is not clear, but he describes four concepts leaders need to get us through – awareness, vulnerability, empathy and compassion.

I am glad he is continuing to offer his thoughts on compassion, empathy and tolerance for all in our diverse community. His positions on immigration, police reform and community involvement are well thought out and reasoned. They should be taken seriously.

Please read his past and future articles and columns.

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