Fargo Police Chief remains on force, soon to be under improvement contract

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Fargo, ND) -- The Fargo City Commission is keeping the city's police chief on the force after a city commission meeting on Monday.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski is facing criticism after recent staffing issues and allegations of a toxic work environment were presented to the public. Those allegations are under investigation according to several city officials. You can find more details by clicking here. 

One Commissioner called for the outright firing of Zibolski. Fargo City Commissioner and Deputy Mayor Dave Peipkorn voiced heavy opposition to the chief, saying his actions were "grounds for immediate dismissal." He also brought forward a motion, which would have suspended Zibolski until an outside investigation would report their findings based on the accusations against him. The motion did not receive a second, and was not brought up to a vote. 

Several members of the Commision came to the defense of Zibolski. One of which was Commissioner Arlette Preston, who said she was "disturbed" after Commissioner Peipkorn's public calls for the Chief's firing. "It send a message to the entire city staff that creates a culture of fear and insecurity", said Preston responding to Peipkorn's comments, "I see that as being unprofessional and to the point of almost negligent."

"I will gladly stand by my comments", said Peipkorn in response to Preston.

In the end, The City Commission voted 4-1 to approve the creation of an improvement plan for not only Zibolski but the Police Department as well. While the full details of the improvement plan are unclear, some items are known. Items like shift scheduling, staffing strategies, mental and physical health initiatives, community involvement efforts, and an outside evaluation of the Fargo Police Department from an independent party were discussed before the vote.