Anyone who has seen the video of the Minneapolis Police officers and George Floyd is angry. While many questions remain, I am confident in the criminal justice system that appropriate action will take place after a complete and thorough investigation.

I am sad that an already struggling community is being destroyed by individuals that believe destruction and looting will create positive change. Today, more than ever, we need people to come together and build one another up, not burn it down. Family members of George Floyd have sent the message that he would not want this to be happening.

I am also saddened when law enforcement is painted with a broad brush. The staff of the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office strive to uphold the core values of our mission statement: Integrity, Respect, Fairness and Excellence. We work hard every day to build relationships with our communities that is based on trust. I am proud of the staff at the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and the work they do each day.

Please keep George Floyd and his family in your prayers. Also keep the Grand Forks ND Police Department in your prayers as they mourn the loss of Officer Cody Holte who was killed on Wednesday, May 27. When we put on the uniform each day, we take an oath to serve and protect and to make sure our communities are safe and that our citizens do not have to live in fear. Officer Holte made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his community.

To the woman that approached me and another deputy at the gas station in Perham on Thursday and thanked us for our service and asked us to be safe…Thank You! We are so lucky to work in a county with such great law enforcement support.