As part of an ongoing series of interviews with law enforcement officials from around the country, we spoke with Fred J. Thompson, the Chief of Police for Valley City, ND. Below are excerpts from that interview.
INMYAREA.COM: You were appointed Chief of Police for the Valley City Police Department in 2012. What was the first thing that needed to change to increase public safety?
THOMPSON: The first action item was to update the Policy and Procedure Manual. This is something the town will continue to update, review, and improve. The Policy and Procedure Manual gives rules, guidelines and a clear direction for officers on what to do in any given situation.
INMYAREA.COM: Why do you think that Valley City is one of the safest cities in North Dakota?
THOMPSON: All of the great officers in the department are a huge reason why Valley City is so safe. Officers in the department have developed a friendly working relationship with the public. Aside from the officers, the people of Valley City are another reason why a high level of public safety has been maintained. They are all very proactive and inform officers if they see anything.
INMYAREA.COM: What has been your biggest challenge to keeping Valley City safe?
THOMPSON: The unknowns. The department has to keep a close eye on the next guy off the I-94 freeway. The I-94 is a major freeway that brings strangers into the small town of Valley City. Some of these strangers could be a rotten egg.
INMYAREA.COM: What are your plans to maintain a high level of safety?
THOMPSON: Continue working with the community and keep an approachable disposition. In respect to the public, we act on info given in a timely manor.