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Chief's Corner

Assistant Chief Mike Reitan

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.

Enforcement has long been the staple of law enforcement practices. The practice was to move in quickly, take action, end the situation, and wait for the next thing to come along. The officer dealt with the immediate problem more often than not with a physical presence and spent little time talking or determining long term solutions to what was occurring. Because the root of the problem remained unchanged, officers were sure to return again to address the situation another day.

Today, new officers of the department undergo an extensive 16 week field training program. This program is in addition to any training they received in a law enforcement basic training program or what was received while at another police department. The goal of the training is to teach the officers the culture and practices of the West Fargo Police Department. The field training officers involved in the program are selected based on their knowledge, skills and abilities in providing exceptional service to the community. The training officers carry the responsibility of shaping the future of the department.

The law enforcement officers of this generation are meant to be fully engaged within the

community they patrol. They act as a role model to the youth in the community. They proactively seek out conditions that negatively impact the community looking for the root cause and devising possible solutions. They build collaborations and consensus amongst other service providers and the community to utilize resources more effectively and efficiently. They learn their words have a larger impact than physical force in relation to having a positive outcome in the majority of situations. An officer finding and acting upon the solutions to an issue better serve the individual affected and the community.

The West Fargo Police Department strives to reach into the community to identify the concerns of the citizens and engage them in a community oriented policing philosophy. One way to do so is to conduct public surveys. The first such survey: West Fargo Police Department September 2016, was created in the program Survey Monkey and can be found on our web site, ;

on Facebook at

and on Twitter at

Printed copies of the survey will be available at the police department. The survey is only five

questions long and sets a base line within the community. We look forward to hearing from you.

Crime prevention is a community effort.