Zibolski: Fargo Police, Public Health working 'to better address' homelessness in Fargo

(Fargo, ND) — Fargo Police and the City of Fargo are contiuing to address issues facing downtown Fargo.

Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski said the work continues between the Fargo Police Department and Fargo Cass Public Health “to better address” the homeless issue in the community, as well as to assist managing homeless camps, cleanup and housing.

“There’s the homeless issue, and the mental health issue,” he said. “Sometimes they’re combined, but not always.”

Zibolski said those involved with the issues “are making progress,” and said the process is ongoing.

He said mental health is not just a Fargo issue, but statewide — and requires legislation and support financially. Zibolski said law enforcement leaders are working to approach legislators across North Dakota to make an attempt to bring solutions to the table. North Dakota, he said, only has short term solutions.

“It goes back to deinstitutionalization,” he said. “We have a group of people that can’t function, but they’re forced to function. It’s falling into the lap of the police, but it shouldn’t be in the lap of the police. It’s a mental health issue, but we need the right facilities and the right people to address it.”

Zibolski made the comments in an appearance on The Flag’s What’s On Your Mind on Thursday.