West Fargo Police Chief seeks additional funding to hire 5 more sworn officers

(Fargo, ND) -- West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness is talking about what he calls the department's biggest need for for the new year.

"The biggest need right now I think is personnel and we need to increase our minimum level of staffing in our patrol division so those daily minimums we won't fall below," said Otterness while speaking with News Director Kyle Cornell on WDAY Midday.

Otterness says he has asked city commissioners for additional funding to hire five more sworn officers. The request coincides with voters in West Fargo approving a hike in the sales tax to help fund police and fire services.

The Chief says the daily minimum staffing level for the department's patrol division has not changed for for the past 10 years, despite the city experiencing significant growth during that time. Otterness says the department is currently nearly fully staffed.

Also, the chief says 4 new recruit officers are in field training, with more recruits set to being training at the end of the month.