Editor’s note: Tyrone Townsend is a patrol officer for the Riley County Police Department. He is also a graduate student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Northwestern University. Townsend is son-in-law of state Rep. Bill Pannbacker of the 106th District, which includes Marshall County. The following originally ran in the Manhattan Mercury.

It was a fall morning in 2017. My toddler son and I were on the way to the private children’s park in our suburban Manhattan neighborhood. He rode in his little red wagon his grandparents had bought for him as I pulled him along. I had one hand on the handle and my cell phone in the other as I glanced at Chiefs highlights on YouTube.