Drug overdose and related deaths continue to occur within our community. At a recent meeting, U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Chris Myers indicated the trafficking and use of opioid drugs is a serious problem that must be addressed or the community will be faced with the potential loss of a whole generation. Law enforcement, healthcare professionals and addiction service providers echoed Myers assessment. Therefore, the question becomes what can be done to engage the community and find solutions to the opioid drug crisis and addiction treatment.
During the 2015 North Dakota Legislative Session the Good Samaritan Law was passed to encourage friends, family members, and bystanders to call 911 in the event of an overdose. The Law provides an assisting person protection from prosecution for ingestion or possession of a controlled substance or possession of drug paraphernalia if the assisting person provides for the immediate assistance of a person who has overdosed. The statute is: 19-03.1-23.4. Overdose prevention and immunity.
The unintentional discharge of firearms has been highlighted in the news in recent weeks. A number of the incidents resulted in injury, while other incidents sent bullets flying into adjoining properties. These incidents highlight the importance of following basic, safe firearm handling rules.
When a person elects to conduct a burglary, they are faced with the risk of being discovered in the act. Most burglars will not target an occupied house. They often will knock at the door or ring the doorbell to confirm no one is home. If a homeowner appears at the door, the criminal will pretend they are at the house by mistake or will ask for directions.
During September and October, the West Fargo Police Department conducted a survey of the public through the use of an online survey provider and a paper survey sheet distributed at the police department's service window.
The scales of justice have long symbolized the balance between truth and fairness within the modern-day judicial system.
In July at a regular city commission meeting, the West Fargo City Commission approved Ordinance 10-15 Taxicabs, an ordinance to regulate the business of transportation for hire. The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure established public safety standards relating to the transportation of passengers are met. The ordinance requires any individual or company wishing to operate a taxicab in West Fargo to be licensed through the city.
The role of law enforcement within the community has changed over the years. No longer are officers hired based on their physical size. Candidates for open employment positions are interviewed and selected with a focus on education and service oriented ideals. The individuals are also chosen based on their perceived fit within the department and within the community. Ultimately, the desire is to hire staff members who will carry forward the department's goal of providing the highest level of service to the public.
On Aug. 21, the West Fargo Police Department responded to a reported homicide. The victim died on scene as the result of gunshot wounds. The suspect in the case had also shot himself and died from the wound the following day. The man and woman had been married. It appears an act of domestic violence preceded the shooting.
On Sept. 7 and 8, the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Chuck Rosenberg, was in the community to speak to the public and to law enforcement personnel on the issues of opioids and addiction. Rosenberg reported the United States comprises 5 percent of the world population but is prescribed 99 percent of the prescription painkiller Hydrocodone and 85 percent of the OxyContin consumed each year. The use of prescription pain medication has a direct correlation to the rate of addiction being experienced in the US.