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The Mayor's Message

05/18/2020

The Mayor's Message - 05.18.2020

Sam’s Club has donated almost 100 canisters of Clorox wipes to the City to assist in disinfecting common areas in City Hall. We appreciate their generosity.

As part of the City of Fargo’s “Reopening Fargo Phase One” plan, the Fargo Public Library continues to offer no-contact curbside pickup services at all three locations. Library patrons can log in at FargoLibrary.org or call the Circulation Department to request items. Even though the library buildings are closed to in-person visitors, Fargo Public Library is still open online with lots of options for people to read, listen and learn. The Library is planning for its all ages Summer Reading Program titled “Imagine Your Story.” This year will include an online option for readers. While this will be a bit different from previous years, the program will still provide opportunities for reading for all ages and as well as opportunities to win prizes.

In his weekly message, Fargo Police Chief Todd recounted that he went out on a call recently for a man with an AR-15 who had pointed it at and threatened another person. He and others arrived at the scene with information that the suspect had headed out into a grassy field, so they geared up with helmets, vests and rifles and made their way through the field to try to secure the area. The Chief said he usually gets to hear and read about these incidents afterwards; however, he was grateful this day would be different. He said he came up through the department and over the last 32-plus years, has been involved in many similar incidents. However, no matter how many incidents an officer goes through, every one of them is a little different and always potentially dangerous. He said police officers are adrenaline junkies to a certain extent, and they live for the excitement these types of calls generate, which is why they run toward the danger instead of away from it. The weight of the plate vest, the rifle sling chaffing on his neck, the helmet giving him a headache and his feet aching were familiar feelings. He said it was a good reminder of what officers go through as these types of calls continue to increase. In many respects, he said, it was also a reminder for him that being an officer is the best job he has ever had.

As many of you heard late last week, Police Chief David Todd is retiring at the end of July. He joined the police force in 1987 and has been chief of the department since 2014. During his tenure as chief, he has worked to hire more officers and establish competitive wages, he helped create a new centralize police headquarters and he helped found the Fargo Police Academy.

A nationwide search for his replacement has already begun. As the regional leader and North Dakota’s largest community, this is a critical position for our metro area and our state. Fargo is committed to hiring a candidate with the intelligence, compassion, strategic vision and leadership qualities this position requires to protect and serve our residents and visitors. Our next Chief will continue to be a reflection of the passion and determination that has been a trademark of the Fargo Police Department since its inception.

Those in attendance at our meeting have likely noticed that we recently completed the final installation of wall coverings in the Commission Chambers. These panels, created by local artist and Fargo native Andrew David Stark, are entitled “Over the Flowing Acres and Across the Great Expanse,” were always part of the overall City Hall building project and one of the few remaining aspects left to finish. It took many months of work by Andrew while he was also teaching at NDSU to complete these panels. We’re glad to see them hung and ready for the public to enjoy for decades to come.

Earlier today, a B-52H bomber, assigned to Minot Air Force Base, flew over Sanford Health’s Medical Center in Fargo. The flyover, known as the Air Force Salute, honors front line responders and expresses Minot Air Force Base and the Air Force’s gratitude for all medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19. The bomber also conducted flyovers of medical facilities today in Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot. Flyovers are fully functional training missions, designed to maintain readiness; they are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.