Garrison welcomes new police chief

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After starting 2020 without any law enforcement presence, one city in North Dakota now has a new police chief.

Garrison decided to end its contract with the McLean County Sheriff’s Department as of January, leading to a search for a police chief.

In the meantime, some city officials in Garrison have been playing the part.

“McLean County dispatch would contact us on the police number and we would address those calls,” said Stu Merry, Mayor of Garrison.

“About how many calls would you say you got?”

He said, “This month…about five to seven. Nothing major.”

But that’s all over. After interviewing multiple candidates, the special search committee selected Travis Tesch as the new police chief of Garrison.

“It’s a mix of emotions. Excited, nervous. It doesn’t matter if you’re going into an established department or starting a new one like we are here. It’s always going to be challenging,” added Tesch.

Tesch served as the police chief in Fessenden and has over 20 years of experience, which he said will pair perfectly with city officials.

“You can’t have a successful police department without support from the city council and the community,” he said.

Coming from a small town with about 400 people, he said he hopes to have the same chemistry with the residents, as well as respect.

“My last post I was at, I went to the daycare and read to kids and went to the school and gave classes. They wouldn’t be afraid to approach a cop and that is what I want to try and do here,” he said.

He said within the next year they would like to have a second officer in the department to help protect and serve the city of Garrison.

Tuesday was the chief’s first day on the job. He said his family will join him at the end of the school year, and they hope to make Garrison their final home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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