Sworn to protect and serve
Under the North Dakota Century Code police officers of the West Fargo Police swear an oath to their office to uphold the ordinances of West Fargo, the state law of North Dakota and Federal law. When a law comes into conflict with another, the Department must seek a legal opinion of the City Attorney or the Attorney General of North Dakota to determine precedence and which law will have authority. At times these determinations are made in a court of law. It is the responsibility of the Department and its staff to ensure they remain current on the most recent ruling.
Prior to being presented their badge an officer is expected to swear the following oath:
I, (the officer's name), having been appointed Police Officer within and for the CITY OF WEST FARGO, North Dakota, DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR that I will support the constitution of the United States and that I will faithfully and impartially, to the best of my knowledge and ability, perform the duties of the said office according to law.
As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsoiled as an example to all and will behave in a manner which does not bring discredit to me or my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accept gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.
I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.
I will constantly strive to achieve those objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession...law enforcement.
The timing of the oath is important to an officer's career. By establishing the high expectations of the profession of law enforcement early the new officer has a clear understanding of what will make them successful. When the officers follow the principles of the oath the Department's goals and objectives are met and the citizens of West Fargo and the public at large are better served. It is the desire of the West Fargo Police Department to provide the highest quality of employee enforcing the laws of the community effectively and providing equal and fair treatment to all with whom the Department staff interacts.