FARGO, ND -- Thanksgiving may just be a few days away, but Fargo-Moorhead is already celebrating the Christmas season. The Xcel Energy Holiday Lights Parade brought many people out in the cold to get in…
Vettel Proposes Establishing a Fargo Parks Police Officer
The new director of Fargo Parks is looking at establishing its own police department to better keep parks in the city safe.
Although, referring to this as a police department can be a little bit misleading.
It will be considered a department but it’s really more of a safety official position.
The position would be filled by a single officer who would take on a liaison role, working with Fargo Police Department to identify problem areas and focus on improving the safety in those parks.
“We could have taken a completely different approach, kind of erased any potential controversy but I’d rather really approach it for the best way we can handle this as a district,” says Parks Director Joel Vettel.
Vettel says when looking to create a park safety official, the Parks Department was advised to meet the needs of the position and establish a police department.
He says this option will better allow the officer in charge to accomplish the job of keeping the parks safe.
“Once we started looking at the details it really made perfect sense for our needs,” says Vettel.
As for the Fargo Police Department, Vettel says they will still operate normally but park related issues will be assisted by the new Parks Department officer.
With recent crime in Fargo, certain parents are optimistic this new position will help make the parks safer for everyone.
Bethany Johnson and her kids frequent the local parks for recreation and exercise.
“I have five boys ages eleven, eight, six, three and one and we do come often because they’re boys and they like to be outside,” says Johnson.
She says recent crime in the area has put her on edge at times while visiting parks.
“I would feel a lot safer knowing that there were specific police in charge of taking care of the parks and making sure they stay safe,” says Johnson.
Hopefully the creation of this new position will ensure locals like Bethany and her children can enjoy the parks without having to worry about the threat of crime.
Vettel says he hopes the position if approved, will be filled by March.