March 27, 2017
Reflections on the History of the West Fargo Police Department

History of West Fargo Police Department in the eyes of Retired Captain Dave Bruckner (1968-2005)

When I started working for the West Fargo Police Department in 1968, there were only two other sworn members on the department which were Chief Les Lindblad and Sgt. Roger Whitehead.

The population was just under 5,000 people in the city at that time.

The city had only one marked squad car and one unmarked squad car. Neither vehicle had air conditioning or an AM radio.

Officers worked alone so if we needed help, we relied on a deputy or a ND Highway Patrolman if they were even in the area. We only patrolled the city until 2:00 am. The officer who worked the night shift took the squad car home and was on call until 6:00 am.

With the Armour Plant and the Stockyards in full operation, West Fargo had a reputation as being a rough town. If we didn't respond to at least two bar fights a night, it was a slow night.

Helen Crawford was hired as our first full time dispatcher. Helen also obtained additional training while working for West Fargo to become the first female in the State of North Dakota to be licensed as a full time Peace Officer.

The changes in technology have been dramatic since I first started in law enforcement, and I'm sure that there will be many more changes before I retire.


Retired Captain Dave Bruckner


Retired Captain David Bruckner

Retired Captain Dave Bruckner was born in Fargo, ND. He graduated from Shanley High School. Bruckner then served three years in the Navy. Dave Bruckner attended two years of college at NDSU.

Bruckner started his career in law enforcement working as a volunteer for the Fargo Reserve Police in 1964.

He was hired as a civilian police dispatcher in 1966 at Fargo Police Department.

In 1967, Bruckner was hired as a patrolman for the Fargo Police Department.

Bruckner was promoted to Captain. Captain Bruckner retired in 2005.

Bruckner was married to Marilyn and had two children and three grandchildren.

David Bruckner passed away in 2007.