Life changed, forever

Matt Westerhold
Aug 25, 2012

 

Excerpt from Westerhold's Between the Lines column in the Sunday Register:

The killing of officer Andrew Dunn is the single-most significant event in the nearly 200-year history of the Sandusky Police Department. The struggles and issues that plagued the department in recent years are of little significance compared to the multi-faceted challenges and jarring reality his death forced on the department and the community.  

The SPD, much like the city itself, is at a crossroads awaiting the appointment of a new chief, negotiating a new labor contract, and looking for ways to understand the tragedy of the loss it's suffered.  

The officers who attended Friday's hearing provided a glimpse for the community of the inner struggles they've wrestled for all these months. They responded to Randleman's guilty plea and life sentence with burst relief and a spontaneous outpouring of unity that crossed over from the department to the whole community. 

The end for Randleman will not be a needle in his veins, but rather, a prison cell for the rest of his life. The Dunn family is left with memories of Andy Dunn's smile and his determination, and life going forward for his widow and his two sons. For the department and the community, the ending on Friday is a chance for a new beginning.  

 

 

 

Comments

ReallyGood

 While this is a very touching article and was nicely written....how about you do that with all the articles regarding the SPD. That is all. 

2083 never forgotten

called out

 Westerhold nice article but I'm shocked you said anything nice about the spd ... Or any other law enforcement agency. At least you showed respect to them for once in your life! Love to 2083 

bigsexy

He's shown praise to law enforcement once before......Remember Thief of Police, um, I mean Chief Tim McClung????  Westerhold called him the greatest law enforcement officer this area has ever seen!

wiredmama222

Mr Westerhold, while this is a nice article, it am taking exception because of what you told me on BTL. 

You told me clearly that what was wrong with the SPD was the leadership and training. 

How does this guilty plea mend the "hole" for the upper management  and training of the SPD? 

I would think that would only be overcome with a replacement for the current police chief and more training of its officers, not with the ending of this trial. 

While I see the trial end mending and healing the hearts of the police who man the streets of the City of Sandusky, I don't see how you can say that it would fix things for the SPD in training and leadership. Is that not what your complaint was during our conversation?. You were quite clear on that. 

Nothing changed with this verdict except the guilty went to jail and a relief was felt among those who lost a loved one. The family of the fallen....including the police "family', must feel better to see the "perp" go behind bars and this finally will be over for them, as much as for the family of Andy Dunn. 

But nothing else changed.  No leadership has changed, no training, no changes other than the guilty going away..

You wrote a nice article, sir. But what you wrote in print does not really indicate anything of real change other than a guilty man is going to a place he belongs for a crime he committed.  To a place he should be.  And for that, this community should be thankful.  . 

I find it hard to believe that anything between you and the SPD has changed as far as leadership and training is concerned. 

If I am wrong, then I will retract this statement, but you will have to prove it to me, Mr Westerhold, as I listened very well, and with great respect.  LOL (I AM being nice here)

Julie R.

@ wiremama222:

That was excellent.

wiredmama222

@ Julie, thank you very much.

deertracker

Mr Westerhold is about selling papers.  Wired raises some great questions.  What changed forever other than Andy's loved one's lives and Randleman's loved ones too.  Why don't you find out what really happened here and write an article about that?  Yes, some of us, alot of us want to know!

Cityslicker

 The only reason that Roberta Dunn sat down to talk to Matt Westerhold, is that she is the only one of the Dunn family that will speak to him. You couldn't get Matt Dunn within 10 feet of him, and rightfully so. I know of some things that if Matt Dunn would find out, there would be a mess of fireworks at Market and Jackson. Just my opinion though, and I'm entitled to that.

Woody Hayes

And you feel you are qualified to talk about the police department, Mr. Westerhold?  What a joke.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for your comment, Woody. Yes, I'm qualified. I think we're all qualified, in some way, and to have an opinion, always. If you need more information call me at 419-609-5866 and we can talk about it some.   

wiredmama222

I have a great regard for the people who work the streets at the SPD.  I hope they get a good leader to continue to work with them, whoever that may be. 

After all this mess, they deserve that.  I only hope they do NOT have to put up with any more fighting from within our own City Commissioners about it at any more meetings.  Frankly it was a disgrace to witness at the last meeting and something they should not have to witness at the next one. 

Let us hope the commissioners involved show a lttle more respect at this next meeting for the committee and for Commissioner Brown than they did before. 

The SPD deserves no less. 

 

Matt Westerhold

I have sat through my share of city commission meetings, and I watched this meeting on video. I didn't find it disgraceful, as suggested. Call it democracy, or simply public debate, it can at times get fiesty.  There were some unfortunate words exchanged, but the public dialogue on important public issues was refreshing and useful. Everyone survived. Important questions were raised. Those questions should be addressed. That open dialogue is the best vehicle the city has to move forward, in my opinion. 

wiredmama222

Mr Westerhold,  You and I differ on what is disqusting when it comes to  public debate by public officials. 

If name calling by our elected officials is considered by you to be appropriate venue, then why did you put that phone call to your employee online? You cannot have it both ways. 

Active debate is one thing, and  and forward progress is wonderful.  But to act childish because you don't get your own way is something entirely different.  What you saw was someone who didn't get their own way and  is throwing a FIT about it.  

There were NO questions asked that moved anything forward.  That is absolute nonsense.  The "ice man" as I call him, cited the exact portion of the City charter the committee is following to council to PROVE the selection committee is following the rules.  Ms Cole and Mr Poole had no leg to stand on after that.  Their complaints came ONLY after their choice didn't make the final five.  Ironically before that there were no complaints.  How odd?   The only person moving anything forward is Mr. Brown.

To call your fellow commisssioners LIARS is nothing more than being unable to defend yourself when you get caught in a lie and cannot get out.  You have no defense and words fail you.  That isn't debate, it's a lack of manners and a lack of respect. 

Yes, lively, active and debate filled.  That was the last meeting.  It is a shame though, that the council doesn't do more of that to court more business into this city to provide jobs for its people. 

Now THAT would be forward progress.  Instead of fighting amongst themselves they might try fighting for all of us. 

Woody Hayes

 Thanks for your comments, Mr Westerhold. No, I will not call you because you have nothing for me to listen to.

Julie R.

wiredmama222: I thought your first comment was excellent but I forgot to mention that I thought Mr. Westerhold's article was excellent, too.