General Program Information:
- In 2005, the West Fargo Police Department and West Fargo Public Schools implemented their School Resource Officer (SRO) program. This program introduces a law enforcement officer into the educational environment of schools. The district philosophy was to have one SRO at each secondary school in the district (Cheney Middle, Liberty Middle, Sheyenne High and West Fargo High/Community High). New in 2016-17, there will also be a SRO to serve the elementary schools, as well as provide liaison services to existing SROs at the district’s secondary buildings for ELL students.
- Officers are trained by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and taught the "triad" concept. The triad concept divides the responsibilities of a SRO into three main areas: educator, informal counselor and law enforcement officer. SROs provide law-related education to students, parents and staff by serving as guest speakers/teachers at various school events. They work within the context of their knowledge, training and experiences as a law enforcement officer when asked to provide informal counseling. Their work on school safety and law enforcement activities balances out this triad.
- Goals of the SRO program are to provide safe learning environments in our district's schools, provide valuable resources to school staff, foster positive relationships with youth, and develop strategies to resolve problems affecting youth with the objective of protecting every child so they can reach their fullest potential.
- MY STUFF
- With an aim of reducing the number of students' personal property items stolen each year, the West Fargo SRO Program launched the use of the database MY STUFF. The database is intended for all students and school district employees to enter and store the serial numbers of their electronic items and other personal valuables.
Once a device has been registered, individuals can log into their account and report their device stolen simply by changing its status. Once that happens, a SRO receives an email regarding the missing property. SROs also have the ability to search the database using serial numbers and/or individual names.
MY STUFF is free and available on the West Fargo Public Schools website. Students (or parents) create an account and enter identifying information for any valuable items that are being brought into the school.
This database is used by several other school districts and SROs in the region.
- The Text-A-Tip program was developed in response to the number of young people using texting as a popular means of communication. Each WFPS SRO has a number assigned to their school's Text-A-Tip program that they promote within their assigned school(s). The use of the Text-A-Tip program gives students another option in reporting danger, rising problems, or illegal activity in a school. The ability to receive tips via this program has allowed the SROs to respond to situations, and often resolve them, much more quickly.
- Lock It or Lose It
- The Lock It or Lose It program began in response to the growing number of locker thefts that were occurring. Most of the thefts being reported were the result of an unsecured locker. This program is an attempt to bring more attention to the need for students to keep their property secure during the school day.
Students created posters and magnets explaining the program and encouraging every WFPS student to "Lock It or Lose It."
- Cass-Clay Unified School Response
- Cass-Clay Unified School Response is a group of schools and law enforcement agencies who have adopted unified emergency response protocols and adapted them to their unique situations. The goal of CCUSR was to develop a unified command organization operating under similar emergency protocols. Since its first adoption in 2006, the concept has evolved into a multi-jurisdictional response plan that protects over 30,000 students across 16 districts.
- Alive At 25
- Alive at 25 is a 4 ½ hour driver's awareness course designed by the National Safety Council for young drivers age 15-24. Students will gain awareness and develop strategies to keep safe on the road. They learn through interactive media, workbook exercises and class discussions. This course is taught by SROs to students enrolled in the driver's education class.
Officer Todd Pearson
District Elementary Schools & ELL Liaison
- I attended the University of Mary and Bismarck State College before graduating from the UND-Lake Region Peace Officer Program in 1993. I have been a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) since 1999 and completed the NASRO Practitioner requirements in 2011. I am currently an Alive @ 25 Defensive Driving Curriculum Instructor and a Field Training Officer for the West Fargo Police Department.
- I have been a Law Enforcement Officer since 1994. I have been with the West Fargo Police Department since 2000; prior to that, I worked for the Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Wahpeton Police Department.
- Why I Enjoy Being a SRO: Students are faced with a lot of challenges throughout their school careers; I enjoy being a resource that students (as well as parents and staff) can count on when everything and everyone seems to be working against them. I enjoy working with school administration to create the safest learning environment possible for the students and staff of West Fargo Public Schools.
- My Off-Duty Interests: I enjoy being outside…surrounded by friends and family. During the summer, I spend my time at the lake cabin fishing, swimming and relaxing. I pheasant hunt in the fall with my son and family dog. I follow football at all levels (I particularly enjoy the Bison and the Vikings). During the winter, I won't pass up a fun and friendly game of hockey.
Officer Rhonda Jorgensen
Sheyenne High School
SHS Phone: 701-499-3208
- I graduated from Mandan High School and Bismarck State College before completing the UND-Lake Region Peace Officer Training Program.
- My entire career in law enforcement has been with the West Fargo Police Department, where I started in April 1999.
- In addition to my SRO duties, I write and advise the Citizens Police Academy. I am a member of the Peer Assistance Crisis Team (PACT) and co-creator of the Armed Robbery training for local retailers. I serve as second vice president of the local Fraternal Oder of Police (FOP) Red River Valley Lodge I.
- Why I Enjoy Being a SRO: I decided to become a school resource officer because I wanted an opportunity to positively impact students, build relationships and trust with them, and be a resource for them. I want to be able to show them that law enforcement officers are here to help, guide and educate them, both during and after their school career. I also strive to be a resource for the entire school staff.
- My Off-Duty Interests: In my spare time, I enjoy golfing, cooking, traveling and motorcycle trips with my husband. I also like watching Denver Bronco and NDSU Bison football. Spending time with friends, family and our dog Howie are also high on my priority list.
Officer Jason Balvik
West Fargo High School
Community High School
WFHS Phone: 701-499-1988
CHS Phone: 701-356-2008
- I graduated from Jamestown High School and attended North Dakota State College of Science before graduating from the UND-Lake Region Peace Officer Training Program. I'm a certified instructor for Methods of Instruction through the North Dakota Peace Officer Standard and Training Board. I'm a certified instructor for Alive @ 25, a National Defensive Driving Course. I'm a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers. I completed their SRO Basic and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) program. I was a Red River Valley SWAT member from 2008-2012. I served as the director of the West Fargo Police Department's Youth Academy from 2005-2009. I have completed over 1,000 hours of training in law enforcement subjects.
- I started my law enforcement career working for the Cass County Sheriff's Department in 2001. I also worked for the Wahpeton Police Department before coming to the West Fargo Police Department in 2005.
- Why I Enjoy Being a SRO: Since I started in law enforcement, I have enjoyed working with youth. Even while working patrol, I took every opportunity to help the youth consider all their options and make good choices.
- To this day, I remember when Officer Jon came to my elementary school; he had such a positive impact on all of us. I also remember the great relationship I had with my high school principal, another great influence in my life. When the opportunity came to work with educators and youth, I knew it would be a perfect fit for me.
- My Off-Duty Interests: I have been lucky enough to coach my kids in several of their activities. I also enjoy attending my kids' activities. During the fall, I enjoy hunting. During the winter, I enjoy ice fishing, spear fishing and attempting to play basketball. In the summer, I enjoy spending time at our camper. While there, we spend most of the time in and on the water, whether it's fishing, tubing, skiing or swimming. I enjoy playing men's slow-pitch softball. All of these are best when family and friends are with.
Officer Wes Christianson
Liberty Middle School
- I attended NDSU and graduated with a degree in Business. After many years behind a desk, I attended the UND-Lake Region Peace Officer Training Program in 2010.
- I started my Law Enforcement career with Burleigh County in 2011. After two years of being a road deputy I moved back to West Fargo in November of 2013.
- I enjoy being an SRO because it allows me to interact with kids that need a push in the right direction or positive reinforcement to continue down a path that will lead to success. This is a great opportunity to make lasting relationships with the school administration as well as some of the youth in the community.
- In my off time I enjoy traveling the country. I like to go for motorcycle rides around the region. I also enjoy the outdoors and hunting in the fall.
Officer Trent Stanton
Cheney Middle School
- I graduated from Blue Earth Area High School in southern Minnesota. I then attended the University of Jamestown, where I ran track for four years. I graduated from the University of Jamestown with a degree in Criminal Justice and began working in a youth correctional facility as a counselor. While working as a counselor, I also coached track and basketball at the facility. I then completed the Law Enforcement Skills program at Alexandria Technical College.
- I began my career in law enforcement in 2003, when I was hired as Deputy Sheriff in Dickey County, North Dakota. During my time as a deputy, I spent time in the schools assisting with teaching the Counter Act Drug program to students. In 2006, I began working for the West Fargo Police Department. Along with my regular duties, I also serve as a Negotiator on the Red River Valley SWAT team, Peer Assistance Team member, Field Training Officer and have also served as a rotational investigator. This past summer, I completed the SRO Basic class.
- Why I enjoy being an SRO: I think it will be a challenging and fun experience to be a positive role model for the students and help them through daily problems they encounter. I am excited to work with the school staff, students, and their families.
- My Off-Duty interests: I enjoy the outdoors. I like to spend time with my family, fishing and boating in the summer. I also enjoy ice fishing in the winter. During the fall, I spend time hunting waterfowl and pheasants throughout North Dakota. My other interests are watching sports of all kinds.