Pete Nielsen named West Fargo Chief of Police

Pete Nielsen | Photo Courtesy: City of West Fargo
Pete Nielsen | Photo Courtesy: City of West Fargo

(West Fargo, ND) — The West Fargo Police Department has a new chief.

At Monday night’s West Fargo City Commission meeting, the Commission unanimously approved City Administrator Dustin Scott’s recommendation to promote Assistant Police Chief Pete Nielsen to the position of Police Chief.

“He has been absolutely vital in transforming our department into one of the finest in the country,” Scott said of Nielsen.

He succeeds outgoing Chief Denis Otterness.

“It has been my honor to serve with Pete Nielsen as my Assistant Chief over the past two years,” Otterness said. “The West Fargo Police Department is in great hands with a leadership team of the highest caliber.”

Nielsen says he is “honored to be selected as the next Chief of Police for the West Fargo Police Department.”

“I am excited to continue my service to the community of West Fargo and lead an exceptional department,” he said.

Nielsen began with the West Fargo Police Department in 1999, after working as a police officer with the North Dakota State University Police Department.

Scott said Human Resources Manager Sarah Gasevic conducted surveys and interviews regarding the department’s leadership.

Scott said 21 people within the department filled out an anonymous climate survey, engaging the current leadership within the department.

Commissioner Mark Simmons praised Nielsen’s work with the department.

“I’ve never seen a person as calm as he is,” Simmons said. “(He) doesn’t judge people until something is wrong.”

Nielsen’s appointment is effective Friday at 11:59 p.m. He will be sworn in as the Chief of Police at an upcoming City Commission meeting.