The West Fargo Police is trying to get to know their community a little better with their Around the World: A Celebration of Cultures event. West Fargo’s Chief of Police, Heith Janke, says it is an opportunity for everyone to get know each other. The event will have various games and food from different countries, a stage where different dances will be performed, and a dunk tank with school resource officers in it. This event is being done in conjunction with West Fargo’s Cultural Liaison position they added recently.
"One thing we did was we looked at how we’re doing as a department with our entire community, and we realized we had some shortcomings when it came to our New American population. We weren’t doing enough to build relationships and trust. We started Ryan Feltman who is our cultural liaison officer in January, with his job to build relationships, to help teach New Americans when they come, work with our schools and our school resource officers to identify issues within the schools that he can work with families on; so, kind of just one of those positions to get out in the community and help show how our police department can help everyone in our community."
The Around the World event will give citizens of West Fargo and the surrounding areas a chance to see the Cultural Liaison position be put into action. Chief Janke says it is a great opportunity for the citizens to establish understanding.
"We are focused from a community policing standpoint to build trust and relationships with everyone; because that’s how we keep crime low in our city. When people trust and know they can call the police and we have those relationships, and that comes with everyone knowing all their neighbors; where they come from, what they are about, and having a good understanding. When we can understand each other, we all get along, and we keep crime low, so this Cultural liaison position is going to do great things for our city."
The event will be held at the POW/MIA Plaza on Sheyenne Street in West Fargo and will run from 5:30-8pm.