A Difficult Job Made Harder - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

A Difficult Job Made Harder

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On Tuesday, Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes told his staff they are measured by the challenges they overcome.

In the wake of Lieutenant Jeff Skuza's tragic death, Police Chaplain Kevin Kloster is honoring all officers for the hardships they face.

"I think if you're in law enforcement and you're a police officer, in a sense, you're sort of called to that," Kloster said.

He has a good idea of how strong that calling can be. In the face of danger or in the thick of tragedy, he sees officers keep one foot in front of the other.

"They're very human. Emotions that you and I experience, they experience so often that they just put that in a little box and deal with it when the time is right," he said over 19 years of experience working with police departments around the country.

Kloster helps keep their momentum in moving forward when the hardest of times hit, including Tuesday morning's tragic discovery at Holy Cross Cemetery just south of Fargo. Skuza's body was found, killed with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"Today was a bad day for the police department," Ternes said, taking a deep breath in. "I suspect that in the coming days, we'll have some real challenges to confront."

Now, it seems that calling also binds them together. Kloster says the family created within the department is unwavering in strength. Skuza helped to start a program to address the hardships officers face in the line of the duty. In the Peer Assistance Counseling Team, PACT, officers are trained in fostering mental wellness. The group is building the strength to see others through his passing.

"We're not measured by our successes. It's really how we deal with tragedy and adversity," Ternes said. 

These officers are dealing with it by standing together. Kloster offered advice for anyone else looking to bring some good to the situation. He says writing a simple 'thank you' or sending condolences to the Fargo Police Department would be appreciated.


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