Serving Fargo: Fargo Police Department at the Center of New Documentary

They put their lives on the line to protect different communities, but police officers aren't always trusted by the public

FARGO, ND — The Fargo Police Department is showing the country the importance of being one with the community.

Some people have a negative view of police officers and one production company is trying to change that.

They put their lives on the line to protect different communities, but police officers aren’t always trusted by the public.

Bartlett Productions and the Fargo Police Department have come together to create a short film in efforts to humanize police officers.

“There’s a lot of negative stuff going around about police officers but that’s not the case, especially here in Fargo,” said Fargo Officer Justin Valenti.

The video is focusing on officers’ lives outside of the job and what makes them the same as each person in their community.

Director Andrew Bartlett and creative producer Hannah Kenney both grew up in Fargo and when the idea for the project sparked, they immediately thought about their hometown.

Bartlett Productions said they chose the Fargo Police Department because of their respected relationship with the community.

“We’ve worked hard to earn that trust,” said Crime Prevention Officer Jessica Schindeldecker. “Our officers are diligent every single day to be empathetic and to be understanding and be approachable and to be the people who the community can trust to respond to the worst part of their day or their life even.”

“I’m a patrol officer,” said Valenti. “I respond to calls. I love it. You know, I’m with the ND Army National Guard, recently joined the Dilworth Volunteer Fire Department so it just becomes second nature.”

The production company spent three days with three officers.

They went through their daily routines to show audiences they aren’t just people in uniforms.

“Police officers are regular people,” said Valenti. “We got bills and laundry and stuff to do all the time just like you and everybody else.”

Communities around the country are struggling to trust law enforcement but in Fargo, officers say it’s a different story.

“We typically don’t see that kind of thing here,” said Schindeldecker. “We have a lot of respect and support from our community. However, it’s still important to give back to the community and let them know why we’re doing what we’re doing and why it’s important for us to be in the community and engaged in the community too.”

The film has been submitted to My Rode Reel competition and a decision will be made by the end of July.

Bartlett Productions said while it was exciting to do the project, it was a privilege to get to know each of the Fargo officers.

To vote for the video in the My Rode Reel competition, click here.

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