West Fargo Police Department names next Chief

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:28 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - West Fargo City Commission unanimously approved the recommendation from the City Administrator to promote Pete Nielsen as the next West Fargo Police Department Chief.

“We appreciate the great leadership and public service Chief Denis Otterness has provided to the department and the community,” said City Administrator Dustin Scott. “With over 24 years of sworn law enforcement experience, Pete Nielsen is the best candidate to continue the department’s dedication to serve the City of West Fargo at the highest level.”

Nielsen has been serving as the Assistant Chief of Police for WFPD since Nov. of 2021. The West Fargo native served active duty as a law enforcement specialist with the United States Air Force for four years. Nielsen became a patrol officer with the department in 1999, after working as a police officer for NDSU. Nielsen started the West Fargo Police Volunteer Program, implemented a Neighborhood Watch Safety Program, and is credited with establishing the WFPD’s K-9 program.

“It has been my honor to serve with Pete Nielsen as my Assistant Chief over the past two years,” said outgoing Chief Denis Otterness. “The West Fargo Police Department is in great hands with a leadership team of the highest caliber.”

“I am honored to be selected as the next Chief of Police for the West Fargo Police Department,” said Nielsen. “I am excited to continue my service to the community of West Fargo and lead an exceptional department.”

Nielsen will become Chief of Police on Oct. 6 at 11:59 pm. He will be formally sworn in at an upcoming City Commission meeting.