To the editor:

Over the last months we’ve seen protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Cornelius Fredericks and others at the hands of police.

There have also been the removal of Confederate and other statues related to troubling aspects in our history. And, there has been a movement calling for defunding police departments across the country. There have also been removals in response to these protests. Hopefully these protests will help to bring about systemic changes, such as deescalation and training about mental health.

I would also like to note the sudden and tragic death of officer Dana Mazola, a 31-year veteran with the Salem Police Department who was killed in a head-on collision, while one his way home from his shift. I was moved by what I had read about him online, and heard at his funeral, including the fact that he genuinely wanted to help the community and sought to help build relationships with the community.

And, finally, I would like to thank Chief Mary Butler for her 33 years of service to the Salem Police department, and for the the five years she’s served as the chief of police. She has done a lot for our community, including extending the Citizen’s Academy, and helping keep Salem residents and tourists safe during October.

Seth Mascolo


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