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OPINION

Letter: Polk  County  Republicans show LE support

Submitted by Skyler Johnson
Crookston Times

    In an era when police morale is at an all-time low, the Polk County Republicans wanted to turn things around by showing support and encouragement to local officers. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Sept. 19 in Mentor, the American flag was waving in the breeze. Patriots from the surrounding area gathered at the Mentor City Park to celebrate conservative values; namely the 2nd Amendment, President Trump's reelection and backing the blue.

    "We feel terrible about what is going on across the nation with talk about defunding the police; they are so unappreciated, especially in the bigger cities." said event organizer Sherry Hoaas. "Here in Northern Minnesota, we respect and admire our law enforcement officers, so we wanted to be an encouragement for them."

    Sherry is the president of the Polk County Republican BPOU. The group had wanted to do an event all summer, but COVID-19 had ruined their plans. With only 45 days before the election, they decided to go ahead with an outdoor event and, thankfully, the weather cooperated nicely. They called it the "Rocks and Cows Gathering at the River" - based on a famous comment that Governor Walz had made about outstate Minnesota.

    People from all over Polk County and beyond came out to sign a petition to make the county a "dedicated 2nd Amendment county." The program included Sheriff James Tadman giving a moving speech about the dangers the officers face each day and their fortitude to bravely serve the community each day they go to work. Sherry presented Sheriff Tadman with a plaque of recognition and support on behalf of the Polk County Republicans.

    Political candidates were in attendance and each took their turn addressing the energetic crowd, including U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis, Congressional District 7 candidate Michelle Fischbach, Representative Deb Kiel and Senator Mark Johnson.

    "It was a great day celebrating our values up here in rocks and cows country: President Trump, the 2nd Amendment and backing the blue!" said event organizer Sherry Hoaas. "We ended the program with everyone singing 'God Bless the USA.' Considering the wildfires, violence and general unrest going on right now, I thought it was the perfect, poignant ending. We need to ask for His help to heal this land."

Polk County Sheriff’s Office officers are pictured, along with retired sheriff Barb Erdmann.
Polk County Sheriff Jim Tadman speaks at the Mentor event.