Minot police understand relationship between law enforcement, community

In the past couple of weeks, Bismarck police announced they were adopting a move to community policing.

The essence of community policing is that officers are assigned certain “beats” or parts of town to which they are assigned to monitor. The principle is for police to bond with business operators and residents, which then leads to better communication, quicker response times and an understanding of issues of various neighborhoods. It’s better for police and for residents to be familiar with the police responsible for calls to their neighborhoods – and it has worked in many communities.

In an article last week in Minot Daily News, Minot Police Chief Jason Olson addressed the issue of community policing and its possible implementation in Minot.

“I think a bigger city has more ability to do beats and has more advantages to it than a town our size,” said Olson. “It is something we have looked at but we have not implemented that concept.”

Yet Olson also said that he is well informed on community policing, its benefits and the aspects of it which can be implemented in a city our size. The 31-year veteran of the Minot P.D. is extremely aware of the concept and says the Minot P.D. has implemented many of its components, at the same time he suggests the “beat” concept might not work for a city the size of Minot. Reasonable.

Olson demonstrates the wisdom he has garnered from his position here. With the limited resources that come with a city of our size, and possibly the unequal need for coverage in different parts of town, Minot police might not best serve the community with the idea of select beats for cops. But the other components of community policing have been in place for a long time. Olson said the overall concept has been a point of discussion his entire career and he is utterly fluent with the aspects of this approach to law enforcement. Chief Olson has demonstrated to the public that he is extremely conscientious when it comes to the needs of the community and his approach to policing. Despite a tough time for law enforcement in Minot – the problems of opioid abuse, a possible shortage of officers needed to address the many issues, the same challenges of hiring most employers face, etc. – he has been a model of sober realism and fair play as chief.

Congratulations and respect are due Chief Olson. He has more than earned those things.