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West Fargo Police Department Chief Heith Janke has announced that he has accepted the opportunity to be reinstated as a special agent with the FBI and has submitted his resignation, with an effective date of Friday, April 24, 2020.
“It has been a great honor to lead the West Fargo Police Department and I thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to lead such a phenomenal team,” said Janke. “I have never met a group of individuals who are so committed to serving their community and I have no doubt they will always continue to proudly protect and serve.”
Janke was appointed Chief in July 2017 after a nationwide search. His law enforcement experience with the FBI and proven leadership skills made him an ideal fit for the position.
“You could just tell that he was going to help bring our police department to the next level when we interviewed him,” said City Administrator Tina Fisk. “And he’s done nothing but deliver on that since he’s started. It is hard to accept his resignation but we fully support his decision to return to protecting our community at a national level.”
During Janke’s tenure he has implemented major initiatives that have led to the department earning the safest city in North Dakota every year he has been with West Fargo. These initiatives include a complete revamp of staffing levels and structure to provide leadership at all levels, the creation of the cultural liaison program, updating the physical fitness requirements and access to resources - which has shown an actual decrease in sick days in the department, and a focus on compassionate community policing. Janke also worked to build a stronger connection between the department and other city departments to create a collaborative approach to serving the public.
Janke also worked to develop a modern approach to policing, which includes a robust social media program, innovated approaches to recruitment, focus on mental health and professional development, and multijurisdictional programs that combine resources to address major metro issues like drugs, gangs and child abductions.
“When I speak of West Fargo, as a former law enforcement professional myself, the West Fargo Police Department is a point of pride for me,” said Commission President Bernie Dardis. “Chief Janke is central to that pride and on behalf of all of West Fargo, I want to wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.”
Assistant Chief Jerry Boyer, a 22-year veteran officer, will be appointed the interim Chief of Police during the Monday, April 20, West Fargo City Commission meeting, with an effective date of April 25, 2020. Per the City of West Fargo’s protocol, after a review of the position, a nationwide search will be conducted to identify Janke’s replacement.