Published June 12, 2023

Officers Wanted at Minot PD 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan
(Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)
(Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

Staffing Shortage Concerns 

MINOT – It is a nationwide problem, Minot included. 

Minot Police say a shortage of officers has meant some long hours on patrol and some creative scheduling. However, there’s at least some relief on the horizon, according to Captain Jason Sundbakken. 

“We have five going through academy right now. They are in their second week of a 12-week course, and we have four that will start on Monday,” said Sundbakken. “With all of that it still leaves us short eight officers.” 

The state funded police academy in Bismarck is where the prospective Minot PD officers are being trained. They must pass the North Dakota Peace Officers Standards and Training test to remain in the force. 

“Once they start working, we have eight weeks of in-house training,” explained Sundbakken. “Then it is forty, 10-hour shifts when they are teamed up with a field training officer. They learn the job, all the paperwork, and the ins and outs of this police department.” 

While the hopeful addition of nine more officers won’t bring Minot Police to what is considered fully staffed, it should at least partially alleviate some of the challenges faced by the department. 

“Obviously we have to fill shortages through overtime or switching shifts, creative scheduling, or any number of things,” said Sundbakken. “It’s been a struggle, for sure.” 

Sundbakken credited patrol supervision with “doing a really good job” of providing adequate police coverage in the city despite a shortage of personnel. He also noted that police departments all across the United States are facing similar staff shortages. 

“It’s a nationwide thing, not just here,” said Sundbakken. “I’m just not sure why we are not getting the applicants like we used to.” 

Sundbakken, a 27-year veteran of the department, recalls when it was common to receive 60 to 100 applicants for a single position, leaving a pool of applicants from which to draw for a year or more. That is no longer the case. 

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