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July Eggs & Issues Recap: Community Safety

August 3rd, 2015 by Amanda Hofland

Fargo Moorhead West Fargo business leaders and community members gathered in fascination at the facts presented at July’s Eggs & Issues event. Held at the Radisson on July 7, the three area police chiefs were present – David Ebinger from Moorhead, Michael Reitan from West Fargo and David Todd from Fargo – and highlighted exactly what is going on in each city.

july eggs and issues

Recent crime incidents, safety concerns, gang activity, police staffing and task forces were all addressed. Attendees learned first-hand what the major concerns for our region are, what law enforcement is doing about it and what we all can do to help. Each police chief spoke candidly and with transparency.

We learned who the major players are in known area gangs and even saw actual photos and social media messages members have posted. We heard statistics, which served as proof that each city is growing fast, and while there is a lot of good that comes with a higher population, there is also some bad that comes too.

“Where you have guns, you have drugs and you have cash,” Ebinger said of the drug trade in Moorhead. He highlighted what the police are doing, along with the drug task forces to control trafficking in the city. This includes how they were able to seize approximately $211,000 worth of street value methamphetamine in just two days.

Speaking to the rise of drug traffic and subsequent violence, as well as the use of weapons, he said, “It’s a major concern to us, particularly when you look at the fact that there is assault on citizens and assaults on officers that are taking place in our region at a level we’ve never seen.”

Each police chief also mentioned the need for more officers. For instance, Moorhead saw a 72.6% increase in calls for service over the past 10 years, but in the same time period, only had an 8% increase in sworn officers. “We do not have the resources to address the issues that are coming at us at an exponential rate,” Ebinger said.

“When we’re dealing with all these challenges, it’s important to rely on our partnerships because these challenges don’t just stay in Fargo, or West Fargo, or Moorhead; they go back and forth,” Todd said.

This led to discussion over the importance of each city working together as a region to address the issues we’re all seeing. As Reitan stated, “Crime prevention is a community effort.”

While some of the information was eye-opening and startling, they reminded us there is no cause for panic. “When you see these issues, don’t feel like it is getting out of hand,” Ebinger told the crowd. “We’re addressing them.”

The Chamber wants to give a sincere thanks to our sponsors at this event, Xcel Energy and Robert Gibb & Sons, for helping bring these important issues and making the information accessible to the community.

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