Report: More than 35 employees quit police department over low morale, toxic work environment

Share:

FARGO, ND – The Fargo Police Department has reportedly lost over 30 officers in the last two years between officers and civilian staff.

Exit interviews of those leaving say it is because of a toxic work environment that is causing low morale.

After learning that several officers were leaving the Fargo Police Department, Valley News Live worked to obtain copies of the exit interviews since Police Chief David Zibolski assumed the role in October of 2020.

Since he has taken over, 35 members of the agency have left and many of them have cited it is directly because of Zibolski’s leadership.

Many of the exit interviews paint a picture that the leadership provided by Zibolski is the driving force behind so many people leaving the agency.

Officers are hoping that the word will get out to city leaders who will notice the numbers of sworn and civilian staff that are leaving and make a change.

One of the leaving officers made this cry for help very obvious when they wrote:

“The Fargo Police Department and the City Leadership needs a wake-up call. The back door politics and good old boy system has run its course and we are paying for the sins.”

Another officer who is leaving the department noted that he was extremely concerned about the lack of oversight provided by city leaders in terms of Zibolski’s actions. He wrote:

“It is a shame the city has not taken the proper steps to effectively measure their employee’s work environment and the leadership of the departments.”

Valley News reported several other exit interviews that were less than favorable of the changes that Zibolski has been trying to implement since he was hired. Some of the employees who left the agency wrote:

“Chief Zibolski believed that the FPD were a bunch of bumpkins and that he was here to ‘fix’ us.”

“I do not hate the Fargo Police Department. But I do hate the toxic environment that exists within it.”

“I’ve listened to the Chief equate unhappiness to people don’t like change, and those who don’t want to change with the Department can leave. Nevertheless, when you look at members of all ranks and positions- civilian and sworn- there’s one common factor: the Chief. Things are only going to get worse before they get better.”

“I can say now, after a year and a half of his tenure that he suffers greatly from a severe lack of leadership.”

“Toxic, negative work environment within the records department.”

Employees who have stayed with the agency are noting that those that have left allegedly due to Zibolski’s leadership are causing officer safety issues, specifically with patrol.

Officers noted that patrol shifts would typically have twelve or more officers, but now with the departures, they are lucky to have six or seven each shift.

Officers who spoke to Valley News Live spoke about the lack of officers on each shift despite calls for service increasing in the city. At least one of the officers told them that they were “drowning in calls for service.”

While a vast majority of the employees who left the agency claim that it is because of Zibolski’s leadership, city leaders seemingly have not taken notice.

In a recent review of Zibolski which was obtained by Valley News Live, city leaders noted that employees departing the agency was to be expected and for him to “continue” his “leadership.”

A portion of the review said:

“The reorganization, to be expected, has resulted in some staff making the decision to exit the department, retire, or find other professional opportunities. It is incumbent on the Chief to continue to provide leadership, support and communication to the department to continue the implementation of his vision.”

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

As violence explodes in Democrat-run Chicago, police desperate to get people to want to be cops in the city

CHICAGO, IL – The City of Chicago is attempting to double their efforts to recruit new police officers in response to the rising violent crime that is plaguing the city.

Their hopes are to increase the police force and community engagement to end the violent spike.

 

Violence in the city has almost taken over everyday life and has left citizens and tourists alike in fear for their safety.

Residents have started an outcry over the last few months to city leadership over the spike in violence, demanding a plan to reduce the crime and save lives.

On January 4th, Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown spoke about the public safety efforts the city will be undertaking to lessen the violence in the area.

Most of the discussion seemingly laid out a strategy in which they aim to have more visibility as well as community engagement and collaboration.

The plan is to triple positive interactions between the Chicago Police Department and the community. Additionally, the city claims they plan to fund affordable housing, mental healthcare, and drug treatment services by $1.5 million in hopes to stop the cycle of violence.

WGN News reports that the Chicago Police Department is working to increase the number of detectives who will hopefully be able to increase the city’s clearance rate when it comes to crime.

Currently, the agency has roughly 1,200 detectives, but they are currently training two different groups, both at 100 officers, who will hit the investigations division sometime between January and March.

 

The Department will also increase the law enforcement presence in the areas with the most reported crime. According to WGN, Chicago’s downtown and the South Side are some of the areas that will see an increase in personnel.

Brown acknowledged the fact that the department is in the works of doubling not only the detective bureau, but police staffing in general. Brown is hoping to receive 14,000 applications by the end of 2022.

Brown reported that the Chicago Police Department has a dedicated recruiting team which was able to obtain over 7 thousand applications throughout the last half of 2021.

The increase may be because the recruiting team has taken steps to make it easier for applicants to proceed through initial stages of the hiring process.

While the number of applicants for the police department sounds great, that does not mean that all those people are qualified to be a police officer. It also does not mean that even if those people are qualified that they will make it through the hiring process or training.

It should also be noted that these new recruits are coming in not only to increase staffing in the police department, but to replace the hundreds of officers who left during 2021.

These proposals and aspirations of both Brown and Lightfoot come after they had quietly removed 400 sworn police officers from the department. According to Forbes, sworn police officer positions dropped from 12,284 to 11,898 in 2020, and with the lower number of officers on the street, violent crime increased.

The Medical Examiner’ Office in Cook County reported a total number of 836 homicides in Chicago, the most since 1996. 836 people are just those that died because of homicide – it does not include people that have been shot or in some other way a victim of a violent act.

While there is no way to definitively prove that the lower number of police officers equate to rises in crime, it certainly appears that way on paper. Maybe that is why Lightfoot is now pushing for more police officers on the streets instead of less.

______________

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts