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Insight from the West Fargo PD: Statement from Chief Rasmussen

For the past nineteen years it has truly been my honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of West Fargo as Chief of Police. I have always taken great pride in my role as the leader of a highly professional and progressive police organization.

I believe the Police Department and the City of West Fargo have benefited greatly and prospered because of the outstanding leadership of the current and past Board of City Commissioners. Much credit for our successes as a department and as a city also needs to be laid at the feet of our city administrator, Jim Brownlee; my fellow department heads; and especially my staff. Historically not all cities find cohesiveness with leaders truly working towards the same goals. I applaud our community leaders for not only working for common goals but crediting each other for the success and accomplishments our city has enjoyed.

It is with mixed feelings I inform you of my intention to retire from my position as Chief of Police during mid-June 2014. I believe I will be leaving a department that runs as a well-oiled machine with excellent Sergeants, Lieutenant and Assistant Chief. Thanks to you we are well staffed, well equipped and well trained.

I really do not think I could have asked for neither a better Assistant Chief than Mike Reitan nor a better Lieutenant than Duane Sall. Both individuals are recognized state wide for their knowledge and leadership. My Office Manager, Chris Seidel, has been the one to guide the department financially and provide the administrative support necessary to ensure effective operations. My staff of sergeants, especially Greg Warren, handles critical incidents and daily activities in both a timely and professional manner. It is the quality of its people that make an organization a success.

I am not leaving for health reasons, political reasons, scandal or problems in the department. I am leaving because it’s time for me and for my family. I have done the best I can to build a department that is admired by others and recognized as a progressive leader amongst other law enforcement agencies. It is now time for more capable people to take the leadership role and bring the department to new heights.

I elected to tell my staff during our monthly meeting before anyone else because these are the people who actually allowed me to succeed. If I or the department looked good it was because of them. The City of West Fargo is fortunate to have these individuals as dedicated employees.

My best friend and wife of 39 years, Verna Rasmussen, is retiring at the end of this school year. We believe it to be important that we now take the opportunity to relax and spend the time together that our professions had not previously allowed. I have always been blessed as she and our children have truly guided and supported me throughout my law enforcement career.