Community Engagement Team (CET)
Community oriented policing is a policing philosophy that promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes, and reduce the fear of, crime and social disorder through problem-solving tactics and community/police partnerships. Building and maintain community trust is the cornerstone of successful policing and law enforcement.
Engagement Officers engage with local communities for outreach events and education to build partnerships and strengthen dialog and trust between the community and police.
The goal of an Engagement Officer is to maintain and improve the quality of life within Fargo’s neighborhoods through positive interaction, communication and education.
The Engagement Officers also serve as the liaison to the Gladys Ray Shelter in addition to the Mobile Outreach Program. The Mobile Outreach Program, a collaboration between the FPD and Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH), helps individuals under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol receive detox assistance in a safe place and operates seven days a week, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., as staffing allows.
Downtown Engagement Officers
The Fargo Police Department has officers specifically assigned to provide enhanced police services to the downtown area. These officers are called a Downtown Engagement Officers (DEO). The DEO's job is to help promote a revitalized, safe and clean downtown that will appeal to citizens and visitors.
In addition to the Downtown Engagement Officers, other officers are assigned to the downtown area and divided among various shifts. Listed below are some special projects and areas of focus for the DEO and other officers assigned to the downtown area.
Downtown Community Partnership
The Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) is an organization established to ensure the future of a healthy downtown neighborhood that will serve as a base for Fargo's continued growth and prosperity. The DCP dedicates its work toward a vital and vibrant city center that will not only be an asset to citizens of Fargo, but also to the businesses that serve them. The DCP believes that for a downtown to be truly great, it must be maintained and marketed by an effective, imaginative and energetic collaboration of local interests. The DROs maintain regular contact with the DCP.
All officers assigned to the downtown area focus their attention on violations of law that affect the quality of life for people living, working and visiting there. The DROs and other downtown officers are active on bicycle and foot patrols, which help them achieve enforcement objectives.
All officers assigned to the downtown area closely monitor any active or potential transient camp activity. The DROs and other downtown officers frequently patrol areas known for transient activity, particularly beneath downtown bridges, along the Red River and near the Burlington Northern rail line.
Downtown Download Meetings
The Downtown area supervisor regularly coordinates with the DCP to provide updates regarding unlawful behavior, quality of life issues, and current and future strategies to address these concerns through a "Downtown Download Meeting."
Cultural Liaison Officer
The Fargo Police Department created this position in 2008 to provide Fargo's large new American population with a familiar face in law enforcement that they could reach out to with questions and concerns.
The new American population consists of refugees, immigrants, and asylees. The Cultural Liaison Officer also serves our diverse Native American population. The Native American community in Fargo represents more than 21 federally recognized nations from the U.S. and Canada. Each nation has its own beliefs, practices, traditions, cultural values, protocol, history and language.
The Cultural Liaison Officer has a desk at the Fargo Police Department, but much of their time is spent working with new Americans or assisting agencies in other locations. The Cultural Liaison Office's work is "call-generated". Their agenda for the day focuses on addressing concerns they receive when refugees contact them by phone or when other agencies seek assistance with an issue that pertains to the new Americans or Native Americans. They work with all local ethnic groups, with a particular emphasis on those who have recently arrived in our area, as well as the many agencies that are designed specifically to assist the needs of the new Americans.
In addition, the Cultural Liaison Officer works with Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota to provide basic information to newly arrived refugees, including how to interact with the police, our state's alcohol laws, domestic violence, age of consent and driving laws.
Inside the Fargo Police Department, the Cultural Liaison Officer trains new recruits on cultural diversity, and speaks to organizations, churches and departments on interacting with new Americans, as well as answering any questions or concerns that they have relating to cultural issues.