The West Fargo Police Department honored Dave Paulson last week with a special award recognizing his generosity.
Paulson, owner of Dave's West Fargo Tire and Service Centre, located at 1225 E. Main Ave., has made donations to the department specifying they be used for youth programs. Consequently, the donations have been used to support the West Fargo Police Department's Youth Academy which is conducted for junior and senior high school students with an interest in law enforcement. Those participating receive exposure to the inner workings of the police department, and get to experience tours of the Cass County jail, domestic violence training, ride alongs with West Fargo officers, mock traffic stops, and many other law enforcement related topics.
The Youth Academy meets approximately 14 times during the school year. The final week there is a graduation ceremony, with the students and their families attending.
According to Patrol Officer Jason Balvik, who oversees the academy, without donations from businesses like Dave's Tire many of these activities would not be possible. "That is why we wanted to present Dave with a Certificate of Appreciation. The money he donates has had a big impact on a lot of students. In the last three years we have had about 30 students go through our Youth Academy and about one-third of those students are working towards a career in law enforcement. I have been told by most parents that this program has helped their child decide if law enforcement was the career they wanted to pursue. We appreciate Dave's dedication and generosity. With his help we are able to continue programs to help educate the youth in our community."
Paulson said he is honored by the award and is happy to be able to help out youth in the community. "I just believe the best way to give back to the community is through our young people. We need to believe in our kids and if you can provide them a better opportunity for tomorrow, that's kind of our job."
Toward that end, Paulson said he plans to continue his support of the Youth Academy.