Is Fargo becoming less safe?

Signy Mastel, Staff Writer

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Fargo, North Dakota is known to most as a quiet city. Even though it’s the largest city in the state, the population is only around 120,000 people. Many residents describe Fargo as being full of people with the classic “North Dakota-niceness,” but, as recent events have shown, that “North Dakota-niceness” may not be as prevalent as it seems.

There have been many more violent crimes happening in Fargo as of late. To many, the first one that comes to mind is the Savanna Greywind case, but that’s not the only one. There have been several, including murders, kidnappings, rapes, and shootings. Just last year, in February of 2016, Police Officer Jason Moszer was shot and killed by a suspect while he was in the line of duty. That was the first time a Fargo police officer had been killed in the line of duty in over one hundred years.

Another alarming statistic is that the average number of rapes reported annually in Fargo is 66.7 per every 100,000 people, which is almost twice the national average of 38.6 reported per 100,000 people.

Despite these, the most famous example of Fargo’s increased violence is still, as mentioned earlier, Savanna Greywind’s case: the murder/fetal abduction that shook not only the community, but the nation as well. This case not only drew national attention with its unique circumstances, but it also brought to light a very important question which had been brewing for a long time: is Fargo becoming less safe?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. The violent crime rate in Fargo is greater than the national average, according to “ By 2013, the most recent year available, that [the Fargo average] had ballooned to 401 per 100,000… In 2013, [the national average] had dipped to 368 per 100,000.”

Community traumas like these violent crimes can cause many different reactions in the student community as well. “I think that every single person and every single student at this school is going to have a different reaction and no matter what that reaction is and so long as it’s not harming anyone else, as long as it’s a safe thing, it can be very individual and specific to that person and that’s okay,” said Lauren Trefethren, one of the counselors here at North. But in order for people to heal, there needs to be safety.

Our police force is made up of amazing people who selflessly risk their lives for us every day, but even they, apparently, are not enough to keep Fargo as safe as it should be. So, it’s up to us as a community to fix it. There are plenty of things that you can do help out in the community: pick up litter, set up a neighborhood watch, volunteer, or, most importantly, report suspicious behavior to the police.

After all, it shouldn’t take another case like Savanna Greywind’s to remind us; we as a community have had plenty of reminders. There are so many ways to prevent crime in the community, imagine what we could do if we all did even just one thing–there are 120,000 of us. That’s 120,000 things we could all be doing to make Fargo better, and it starts with you.

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Is Fargo becoming less safe?