By Craig Marx, Editor
While the aftermath of the shooting incident that occurred in Antigo and later ended in Lincoln County three weeks ago is still being sorted out, I think it must be said that the recent actions taken by law enforcement officers in both the Langlade and Lincoln County jurisdictions are worthy of esteemed praise.
The cooperation demonstrated by the two departments and their abilities to react in a swift and responsive manner to diffuse the situation, regardless of the suspect’s motives or intent, shows how the men and women of the law enforcement world can come together to work for the betterment of society. While the situation ended in a deadly standoff that saw the life of Scott Minard taken, the specialists that engaged the suspect were left without any other options.
In the wake of the prom shooting that garnered Antigo with unfortunate and brief, national infamy, the actions taken by officers of the Antigo Police Department that night, in particular Officer Andy Hopfensperger, are also to be thankful for in the midst of such of terrible ordeal. The death of Jakob Wagner was deemed necessary at the moment of neutralization, but the vast turnout at the young man’s funeral demonstrated the loss and impact such a morbid departure had upon the community.
We live in times that police and law enforcement, regardless of political or social convictions, are frequently polarized in the media. Law enforcement was, is, and, so long as we have a functioning society, will continue to be the most difficult occupation in the United States. While we live in a small community that does not have the more difficult demands of larger populations, the events of just the past few years are enough to showcase the problems that APD and the Langlade County Sheriff Department either face or potentially risk their lives for on a daily basis.
The persistent drug problems surrounding the community have been pervasive despite numerous busts and arrests. That, coupled with two shootings that can be traced to our city, both ending in deadly encounters, only adds to the reputation of a town that consistently is becoming smaller. Our local law enforcement is doing an amazing job of trying to assist honest and hard working people in our city and county to remain safe and secure. Our world is full of malignant risks and issues and the people that have dedicated their lives to the service of the eradication of those evils deserve to be congratulated, respected, and honored.
The officers and employees of the APD and Langlade County sheriffs are dedicated to what they do and deserve the respect and admiration of the community. As mentioned before, the events of the past few months have demonstrated their resolve and composure during some of the most difficult times this community has had to endure. I thank you for your services.