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Local police dedicated to public

Aaron Moss, President, NDFOP Souris Valley Regional Lodge #7

I write this letter on behalf of the men and women of the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police – Souris Valley Regional Lodge #7 headquartered in Minot. Our membership, however, are peace officers and other criminal justice professionals working for federal, tribal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies throughout northwestern and northcentral North Dakota.

As we all navigate the numerous recent challenges facing our nation which have inspired unrest in other parts of the country, our membership here wishes to thank the communities we serve for their amazing support for law enforcement. In each of our jurisdictions, our members have been approached with words of encouragement and gratitude, cups of coffee, cookies and other sweet treats, and sometimes anonymously paid for meals during a lunch break. We do our jobs without expectation of these kind gestures, but are extraordinarily grateful when they are offered.

Every law enforcement officer in the country, at one time or another, is reminded of the lessons learned from the 9 Policing Principals published in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel of England. Many may wonder how the words of an English Prime Minister in the time of Queen Victoria apply to cops working in North Dakota in present day America. Taking a look at Principal #7 we learn, “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” With other areas of the country roiled with mistrust between law enforcement and too many members of the community, Lodge #7 recognizes the invaluable relationship that we must maintain with those we serve. We further recognize the duty to respect that our interactions can never be allowed to devolve into an “us versus them” relationship. The astonishing support we are blessed to have shared with us, not just these past weeks, but also historically, let’s me know our lodge is honoring this 191-year-old professional standard. I am equal parts proud of these professionals and grateful to the public we serve for this mutual respect.

Continuing forward, please know the law enforcement professionals of Lodge #7 remain dedicated to the highest principals of our profession. We recognize and welcome the obligation to ensure our individual conduct and that of our colleagues is lawful, within departmental policy, professionally ethical, and within the standards of community morality while we seek to keep the peace in our communities. When members of our profession deserve our support, we unyieldingly provide it. When there is an incident that doesn’t deserve that support, we condemn it just as strongly. While we grow and learn following such incidents, we also ask that those we serve continue to include peace officers in working towards solutions for our communities.

Lodge #7 remains fraternally in your service.

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