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West Fargo Police Department
800 4 Ave E, Suite 2 Map
West Fargo, ND 58078
701-433-5508 (Fax)

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School Access is Controlled
12-17-2013 By Staff

School Access is Controlled

Last week a television reporter trespassed within a West Fargo school building in violation of West Fargo City Ordinance 12-0705. The ordinance requires anyone entering the school to first register in the main office. The reporter’s stated purpose was to demonstrate a security vulnerability of a school building built in 1952. The ordinance reads:  

12-0705. REGISTRATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. During such time as regularly scheduled classes are in session, no person shall enter or remain in any public elementary or secondary school building within the City of West Fargo without first registering in the main office of said school; provided, however, this section shall not apply to members of the School Board of the West Fargo School District, faculty and employees of the West Fargo School District, and students enrolled in that school.

Reasonable notification of the requirements of this section shall be conspicuously posted at the entrance to every public elementary and secondary school within the City of West Fargo, and no complaint for a violation of this section shall issue unless such notice is given. The violation is an infraction and may be punished by a maximum fine of $1,000.

The West Fargo School system has been proactive in assessing potential threats to students posed by manmade and natural disasters. An assessment must be practical and reasonable to be effective and efficient. The assessment must also be based on probability and potential for harm and not the raw emotion of a single event. There is a minor potential for flooding and a lesser chance for an earthquake to impact a school. The chance of a severe winter or summer storm would be deemed significant and is the most often seen threat facing the schools. Low on the scale by national average, less than a one in one million chance, is a student being injured in an act of school violence.

The school system has made modifications of existing buildings and done design changes to new construction to develop safer buildings. Policy and procedures were written to address the identified threats that have a potential to do harm to the school population. Staff and students receive training and participate in regularly scheduled exercises relating to disaster response. Students are safer in school now than they were just a few years ago.

Public attitude also impacts school design and operations. For a time schools were built with industrial like efficiencies and were often dual purposed as nuclear fall-out shelters. During a period of societal openness classrooms were designed in pods with shared spaces and no doors. Now schools are designed with restricted points of entry, surveillance systems and the ability to ‘lock down’. Staff and students carry identification cards. Visitors are required to register upon entering a building and may be challenged by staff as they move about. The question becomes how far society will ask the school system to go and at what cost. Can a community afford or do they want a school that has the level of security of an airport or a prison. The community should feel confident in the protections provided by the West Fargo School system to both students and staff.







 Police News
RSS Icon PRESS RELEASE: Vehicle Vs Pedestrian Crash 04/15/2014 On April 15, 2014 at 0727 hours a vehicle was northbound on 9th street east pulling into the west entrance of the West Fargo High School parking lot, when it struck two pedestrians.
RSS Icon Press Release-Suspicious Items 04-11-2014 On 4/10/2014, at 2:56 P.M., the West Fargo Police Department responded to a report of two suspicious items lying on the boulevard in the 500 block of Prescott Lane in West Fargo.
RSS Icon Press Release-Injury Accident 4/4/14 On April 4, 2014, officers responded to a one vehicle injury accident in the 700 block of 9th Street East at 4:54 pm.
RSS Icon Press Release: Man Falls From Roof 03/24/14 At 10:22 AM on 24 March the West Fargo Police Department responded to the report of a man falling from a roof at 3535 Loberg Lane.
RSS Icon PRESS RELEASE: ACCIDENT VEH VS. HOUSE 03/18/14 On 3-18-2014, at 5:30 PM, officers were dispatched to a Vehicle vs. House accident.
RSS Icon Press release-Accident 3-14-2014 On March 13, 2014 at 6:42 PM, officers were dispatched to a crash involving a motorcylce and a pickup at Veteran's Boulevard and 36th Avenue East.
RSS Icon Accepting Applications for Police Clerk 03-11-2014 Police Clerk The West Fargo Police Department is accepting applications for a full time Police Clerk. Starting wage is $14.475 p/hr ($30,108 annually) plus benefits. Shifts can vary and will include evenings, weekends and holidays.
RSS Icon Accepting Applications for Police Officer 03-11-2014 The City of West Fargo is accepting applications for police officer positions.
RSS Icon Press Release: Drug arrest 2/27/2014 West Fargo Police arrest two for drug possession.
RSS Icon Press Release: Assault 02/21/14 On February 21st, 2014 at approximately 12:00 pm, a female individual came to the West Fargo Police Department to report that she had been physically assaulted by her ex-boyfriend and held against her will for the past couple of days.
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