West Fargo Officers Meet an FBI Agent Who Could be their New Boss
The FBI supervisory agent works in Kansas City but his family has ties to the F-M area
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Two finalists remain in the running for West Fargo’s police chief opening.
One is a North Dakota Highway Patrol Lieutenant and the other is an FBI supervisory agent whose ties to the FM area go back decades.
It’s been four months since West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan was terminated.
With complaints from staff which said Reitan created a hostile work environment, the hiring process is more delicate than usual.
“We want to do this right,” said West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern.
The new leader could be Heith Janke, an FBI supervisory agent in Kansas City.
Janke already has ties to the community.
Both he and his wife were Bison athletes in the 1990’s.
He even made it to the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame for his track accomplishments.
Janke did not want to talk on camera, but he said if selected, he’ll work to change the culture and fix trust issues identified with the previous chief.
So far, he’s giving off some good first impressions.
“Very nice gentleman,” said Dan Fuller, Chief of the west Fargo Fire Department. “Very educated.”
“I’m impressed and I think we have two great candidates,” said Mayor Mattern. “I daresay it will probably be a tough decision.”
Two days of meet and greet events are set up for both remaining candidates.
A committee of five people will make a final decision which the West Fargo City Commission will vote on.
“It’s not necessarily just if they’re good for the city, but is the city good for them as well,” said Fuller. “But I’m confident that both of these candidates are going to bring current leadership practices and good strong leadership qualities to the police department.”
“We want them to be a family,” said Mayor Mattern. “They need to be a family. The chief will have to change whatever culture it is to make that happen.”
There’s no deadline set for a final decision.
Dan Fuller tells me the committee wants to take as much time as they need to pick the right leader.
The department will spend Thursday meeting with the second candidate, North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Troy Hischer.