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Fargo’s chief talks with local activists about police reform

April 22, 2021 GMT

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Police reform and racial equity are on the minds of many following the murder conviction of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski met with local leaders of Black Lives Matter and another activist organization, OneFargo, on Wednesday to address that reform, which he said is simply part of the progression of law enforcement.

“In order for us to be successful and work in partnership with our community, we have to have adaptability, flexibility to progress, to be forward-thinkers, in terms of what’s a better way to do something that maybe we’ve done the same way for many years,” Zibolski said.

A combination of sufficient training, more equipment, building relationships and public education are top priorities, he said.

“The really big focus for some time and continuing going forward is to educate the public in terms of laws and how police should handle stuff, but also in the way that we interrelate with them; respectful manner, kind of get to know our community members more,” he added, KVVR-TV reported.

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Zibolski said he’s pleased with the verdict the jury reached in the trial of Derek Chauvin in Minnesota.

“It’s good to see that the criminal justice system did its job and I think it’s good for people to see the work of that court,” he added.

He says body cameras are a necessity in order for the Fargo Police Department to build trust with the community. The Fargo City Commission approved plans for the use of body cameras last August.