The Delta Police Department has been put through the emotional and physical wringer these past few weeks.

First there was the confrontation with Mark Arnold Porter when police were called to the 40 Heinz Mobile Home Park for reported vehicle break ins. Porter, who proclaimed to have taken a large dosage of methamphetamines, would later pass away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction after becoming unresponsive while police attempted to place him into custody. The investigation is still pending.

Then there was the Sept. 7 incident involving Robert Kyle Brown. Brown seemingly harassed residents on Garnet Avenue claiming he owned their home. Attempting to force his way into a residence he allegedly struck the occupants with a large knife. Officers found him under the Gunnison River bridge where a scuffle with those officers ensued injuring three of them. Brown was eventually apprehended and sits in jail with a $60,000 bond and a $25,000 bond.

Then tragedy has befallen the department with the death of Sgt. Rdean Young. Young a 19-year veteran of the department passed away while off duty and working at his home.

One sentence in the story written struck me. The department said, Young selflessly served the Delta community and spent a great deal of his time in its schools, greeting children and “sending them off to class with a smile and a fist bump.”

I’ll sometimes take my granddaughter to school at Lincoln Elementary. I recall seeing Young out in front of the school greeting the kids as they entered the building and shaking hands with parents. It was a proud Delta moment for me. As other communities across the country struggle to find funds in their budget to place school resource officers in their schools here was one of ours simply making a presence and making friends along the way.

We at the DCI have increased our social media presence tremendously. We posted the story of Porter’s death three days after his scuffle with the Delta PD. The investigation is on-going but you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce what probably happened to Porter that fateful day.

Our family knows Porter’s family and also knows that he struggled most of his adult life with addiction. It may be easy to dismiss him as another addict who allegedly was out committing petty crimes but he did have a family including a young son who cared about him. His death is very unfortunate.

The comments on the story were mostly in support of the DPD but then some went with the DPD was at fault angle and made some wild accusations. It was frustrating to read. Accusations without proof is spewed from ignorance.

I drove my granddaughter to school this morning and there was someone missing at the entrance. A tinge of sadness fell on me.

The Delta County Independent sends our deepest sympathy and condolences to Young’s family and friends, we also offer them to his fraternal brothers and sisters at the Delta Police Department.

Sergeant Young you will be missed.

Dennis Anderson is group publisher for Wick Communications, Alaska and Colorado. He can be reached by email at dennisa@montrosepress.com.

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