Decorah man keeps in touch with police friends in Ukraine; formally trained Ukraine officers

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 9:23 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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DECORAH, IA. (KTTC) – Tim Felton, is a retired sheriff’s deputy, he’s been in law enforcement for 41 years.

In 1999, eight years after Ukraine gained its independence, Felton spent two weeks in Ukraine. He helped train law enforcement members on how to build a better relationship with the community.

“They wanted to change the image of the police from Soviet Union police when they occupied and Ukraine was a part of the Soviet empire to a more open free police. So, we were encouraged to come in and teach the officers a lot about public relations,” Felton said.

For more than 20 years, he maintained a friendship with officers in Ukraine, as well as faith leaders.

“The ones I’m talking to are doing the best in their role in law enforcement. The pastor and the orthodox priest, those two I know were doing the aid to get the people out,” he said.

He said, recently, staying in touch with the orthodox priest has been a challenge.

“I cannot get a hold of him now, we’ve lost all contact. And the area he was at is now occupied by the Russian military,” Felton said.

He said the role of law enforcement now, has changed since Russians attacked the country.

“I can’t imagine what they’re trying to do. I do know, one of the messages I got, and this was a couple of weeks ago before things started to collapse around Mauripol they were dealing with a lot of looters but I’m sure that they are trying to do rescue and give aid,” he said.

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