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West Fargo Police ramp up for school patrol

With school starting yesterday, there was added vigilance by the West Fargo Police Department to ensure that everyone’s safety was the high priority.

Toward that end the department assigned patrol offices to each of the West Fargo School District’s 11 schools as new sessions began Aug. 27. That special patrolling will also extend to the kindergarten facilities when their classes resume Thursday, Aug. 29.

During the stepped up presence this week, officers are concentrating on enforcement of school zone speed limits and pedestrian safety, as well as monitoring traffic patterns to improve traffic movement.

“Each year the first couple days of school are a learning experience for students, parents and staff arriving and leaving. The traffic around the upgraded Sheyenne High School and new Liberty Middle School are an unknown for the police department and will need to be monitored closely.” said Police Chief Arland Rasmussen.

Rasmussen asks that parents and students plan for a little more time for travel especially these first few days. “Slow down, watch for children and don’t be distracted. Ultimately it is about safety. We do not want to start the new school year with a traffic mishap.”

Additional officers were also assigned to respond to problem areas with the increased enforcement continuing through Friday, Aug. 30, and returning to normal when school resumes Sept. 3.

According to Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan that normal involves police officers assigned to working the school zones during arrival and departure on a daily basis throughout the school year on a routine basis rotating to the various schools.

Reitan said hte increased presence at the schools have been a good preventative measure in reducing traffic related incidents.

“Officers do take enforcement action when they see a violation and the high visibility is meant to deter speeding, right-of-way violations and distracted driving.”

He added it has been a successful effort in that people are more aware.