West Fargo Police Chief Heith Janke is Sworn In

The new leader promises to focus on trust and bringing in a sense of family

WEST FARGO, ND — More than four months after West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan was terminated, the department’s new chief is sworn in.

Former FBI supervisory agent Heith Janke became the department’s new leader.

Just after 5:30 on Monday afternoon, a man and his family started their new lives in West Fargo after moving from Kansas City.

“It is awesome to be back,” Chief Janke said. “I’m super excited and I can’t wait to keep moving forward and get out in the community.”

The new chief and his wife both have ties to the area.

They’re both NDSU graduates and have a history in their athletics department.

Janke is a Bison hall of famer for his track accomplishments, while his wife played for the women’s basketball team.

“We’re both Bison,” he said. “My journey started here in 1994 with NDSU.”

Janke replaces the former chief, Mike Reitan.

He was let go from the department in February after getting several anonymous complaints which said he created a toxic work environment.

Janke told us he’s ready to make a change.

He said he will emphasize building trust with his staff and his community.

“This is a very dangerous job that these men and women do on a daily basis, and it’s got to be a family working together,” Chief Janke said.

Earlier this year, he met many of the officers.

Many of them said they’re happy with the new chief selection.

“He’s very much a servant leader and I think that that’s extremely important and what the police department definitely needs,” said Jenna Wilm, human resources administrator.

Janke said his past experience with the FBI will help in his new job.

“I worked for a lot of great leaders and I’m pulling everything that I’ve learned from them,” Chief Yanke said.

It’s a new beginning for the Janke family and for West Fargo law enforcement team.

A hiring committee chose Janke over North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Troy Hischer.

In past interviews, committee members said both were great candidates and made for a tough selection.

Categories: Crime, Local News, News Landing Page, North Dakota News