Guest Columnist

Thank you for support in a time of tragedy

Cedar Rapids Police officers talk to people in Greene Square in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, May. 15, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Police officers talk to people in Greene Square in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, May. 15, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

On Saturday December 15, Trish Mahaffey wrote an accurate article covering court proceedings on the homicide of Scott Dexter on June 5 and the plea-deal made for the incarceration of Troy Wilson. In this case, we thank the Cedar Rapids detectives and the Linn County Attorney for their attention to detail, helping to finalize the investigative and criminal justice phases of the case.

It was noted that some good came from this horrendous event. In Greene Square, protective measures including additional lighting, cameras and foot patrols have made a difference in the safety, and hopefully these measures become standard in all the Cedar Rapids parks. I believe these steps were under consideration by the City Council even before this homicide occurred. When there are gatherings of people anywhere and activities such as public intoxication and dealings in controlled substances are obviously taking place, these indicate the need for safety-related measures, sooner-than-later. Our parks and other public spaces, like libraries, should be environments attractive for families.

As the family of a homicide victim, we must note that support systems post-event were very efficient and helpful. From those at St. Luke’s keeping our son’s organs healthy for days, to the folks at the donor networks staying in touch and letting us know of those recipients who would benefit from Scott’s organs. These days were the hardest and this support was essential. We are very thankful for these caring professionals.

Finally, we would like to thank Horizons, a family-based alliance, and specifically Elizabeth Lucas, who is a the Community Based Programs Manager and Certified Homicide Specialist. There is so much busywork after a homicide, and families are devastated and barely able to function on a day-to-day basis. Elizabeth Lucas is our advocate, she has, and still is, helping us in so many ways as we wade through the these tasks. Like many who have dealt with the pain of loved ones lost, eventually we compartmentalize, put the hurt-box upon the shelf. But when is all comes tumbling-down upon you, it’s invaluable to have the support of these folks.

Thank you to all those who have shared with us, and assisted us in so many ways.

• Dale Beeks is Scott Dexter’s stepfather and lives in Mount Vernon.

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