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The Mayor's Message

07/02/2018

The Mayor's Message - 07.02.2018

Four firefighters have completed their initial training with the Fire Department and received shift assignments. Over the next eight months they will complete their additional training and testing.

Members of the Fire Department played an integral role in providing for the safety of people in attendance at the rally held by President Trump last week. They responded to multiple calls for heat-related emergencies and they also ensured that building capacity ratings were maintained. It's rumored that Chief Dirksen almost received a call from President Trump because he wanted to fit 20,000 people in a 6,000 people area.

Congratulations to Battalion Chief Craig Nelson who has been promoted to Assistant Chief. Nelson also received his diploma as a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program last week. Congratulations!

The Mayors’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction hosted a Take Back Tuesday event on June 19th. There were 110 participants who dropped off 143 pounds of medications. Take Back events allow area residents to dispose of unused and unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medicines which helps protect the environment and keeps those drugs off the streets. A lot of people who get introduced to opioids are from pharmaceutical drugs that are in the home.

The Library has eliminated fines on all children’s materials. This change increases access to books and materials for children and makes it easier for children to continue to check out books and read. For many, overdue fines and late fees are a barrier that stops children and families from accessing and benefiting from the resources the Library offers. The library hopes this initiative increase access to books and reading, boosts literacy and removes barriers for all children in Fargo. Great idea.

The library’s annual Summer Reading Program continues and some program highlights during the next couple of weeks include a visit from the Red River Zoo staff and some of their animal ambassadors, a Vinyl Record Care workshop, a Pokémon Party, a Silent Reading Party for grown-ups at the HoDo’s Sky Prairie rooftop and Cupcake Wars decorating sessions. Sounds like a variety of things to do for adults and children.

When President Trump was in Fargo last week, the Fargo Police Department worked with the Secret Service and other agencies to provide security. Chief Todd said these visits are exciting and challenging at the same time, but having the president of the United States visit Fargo is a big deal and the police take a lot of pride knowing their hard work made everything flow seamlessly.

Chief Todd has been working the past three years on implementing a “Mind, Body, Soul” wellness philosophy at the Police Department, not only for the organization but for the individual as well. He said wellness throughout the department is a priority and as police officers, the community has expectations that they can perform the physical aspect of their jobs in emergency situations..

In regards to President Trump’s visit, I would like to acknowledge the City employees’ planning and proactive approach to managing overtime costs by moving shifts and rearranging schedules without impacting the budget. According to Chief Todd, the impact to the Police Department’s budget was minimal, with overtime pay totaling $1,127.00.

There have been many public accolades for the police and other law enforcement agencies and even the Secret Service remarked to Chief Todd that the motorcade operation was pristine and so well done. Public Works also helped with this event. He also shared with Chief Todd that he was relieved to hear they were coming to Fargo because we are great to work with and know what we are doing compared to some other cities they visit.

The cooperation throughout the community is outstanding and everyone works together to make it go smoothly. Senator Hoeven, Congressman Cramer, Governor Burgum, former Gov. Schaefer, myself and even President Trump thanked the Fargo Police Department and all of the assisting law enforcement agencies for a job well done.