(FARGO) — Andrew Dotas and his wife, Hannah, are both thankful for the support of the greater Fargo community.
The Dotas family spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since the July 14 shooting that injured Andrew and two other police officers, and killed Officer Jake Wallin, in downtown Fargo. The six-year member says the support is felt every day.
“I want to say to the community, I know that the Fargo Police Department has been rock solid for us and has been there,” Andrew said. “But the community, the little things, have had a tremendous impact.”
Dotas said the support of his fellow officers at Fargo Police Department, when he was in the hospital, was nothing short of remarkable.
“I knew no matter what happened, they would always have my back. And they've proven that overwhelmingly when I was at the hospital,” he said. “There was a police officer outside my door 24-7. And if my wife needed anything, even if she didn't need anything, if she just needed to feel safe, the Fargo Police Department was there.”
He said the support extended past just the Fargo Police Department.
“The whole metro area stepped up and has been there for us; myself, Ty, everybody,” Andrew said. “They have really been a rock in our life.”
Dotas says he cannot wait to get back to the police force.
“The job is not finished for me at the police department,” he said. “I've had a lot of people come up and say, ‘After such like a traumatic incident, like, are you gonna go somewhere else? Are you gonna do something different?’ And, and I love smiling at them and looking and saying, like, this is what I've always wanted to do. Why would I do anything different?”
Andrew and Hannah Dotas are parents to a son, Andrew Jr.