FARGO — The Fargo Police Department announced Friday, May 15, that Chief David Todd is retiring at the end of July 2020.
Todd joined the force at the age of 22 in 1987. He has been chief of the department since 2014.
During his tenure as chief, Todd has worked to hire more officers and to establish competitive wages, along with helping to create a new centralized police headquarters. He also emphasized community engagement activities, reformed departmental policies and helped found the Fargo Police Academy.
Todd told staff about his retirement plans on Friday, saying: "We have reached a point as a department where we have accomplished, or are near to accomplishing, the goals I had set out in front of us when I became chief.
"These are goals we have reached together as a team. I have known all along that once we reached this point, it would be important as the chief to ask myself this question: ‘Should I continue to lead or would the department be best served if I retire and let the next generation of leadership with new energy and ideas take the department to the next level of greatness?'''
He said he always knew what the answer to that question would be, even though he loves the people who work at the police department and he would miss being a cop.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said Todd's impact on the community has been profound.
"In times of tragedy he rallied our community and in times of success he was quick to offer credit to others on his team," Mahoney said, adding: "Chief Todd is the epitome of a servant leader and I am tremendously grateful to him and his career of service to our community.”
A nationwide search for Todd's successor will begin immediately, and Todd has agreed to remain in his role until his successor has been hired, city officials said.
“As the regional leader and North Dakota’s largest community, this is a critical position for our metro area and our state. Fargo is committed to hiring a candidate with the intelligence, compassion, strategic vision and leadership qualities this position requires to protect and serve our residents and visitors,” Mahoney said.
Chief Todd helped the police department navigate a number of major crimes over the course of his tenure. Among them was the fatal shooting of officer Jason Moszer, who was killed in the line of duty in February 2016 during a standoff involving a domestic disturbance. Todd also guided the department through the investigation of the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was killed and her baby was cut from her womb in 2017.
Todd recently penned an open letter to the community marking the four-year anniversary of Moszer's death. In it, he reflected on what the fallen officer's loss has meant to his family, the police department and the community itself.
"Despite our grief, I do remember several amazing things," Todd wrote.
"The community wrapped its arms around us and supported us, (Jason's wife) Rachel and the Moszer family. Our department drew closer together than it ever had before. Other departments stepped in and helped us by taking runs and covering the streets for us. I got to know Rachel, who’s one of the strongest, most caring women I’ve ever met, and I got to know the amazing Moszer family.
"It’s still an emotional thing for me and that’s okay, it should be," Todd wrote.