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New officer joins Kenmare Police Department

For a young man fresh out of college, Chris Almlie seems wise beyond his years, but then he’s had a lot of exposure to the world.

1/12/16 (Tue)

New cop... New to Kenmare, Chris Almlie is prepared for his Friday night shift. Almlie has been with the Kenmare Police Department about a month, but has spent most of his time in mandatory training sessions. He now patrols the community on a daily basis.

By Marvin Baker

For a young man fresh out of college, Chris Almlie seems wise beyond his years, but then he’s had a lot of exposure to the world.

Almlie, 24, recently joined the Kenmare Police Department, and now that he’s got his required field training out of the way, is patrolling the community.

Almlie, who has spent most of his life in big cities, said he used to think Fargo was a small town.

His father worked for the United States Department of State so traveling around southeast Asia was part of his growing up.

Chengdu, China, Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand are some of the places Almlie mentioned. He went to high school in Bangkok.

“I’ve been living in big cities my whole life,” he said. “But I like Kenmare. There are great neighbors here. I was invited to join a volleyball league and invited to the city hall party. For a community this size, it has a lot of resources. Kenmare is doing well.”

Almlie received his police training with the Fargo Police Department through a co-op agreement with the peace officers training and law enforcement program at Lake Region College in Devils Lake.

In addition, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.

“In the academy, we did some phenomenal training,” Almlie said. “We were part of an active shooter exercise at Fargo Davies and we did a room clearing exercise at Camp Grafton.”

He said the difference between Fargo and Kenmare, other than population, is that all the resources an officer would need are at an arm’s length.

Fargo city, Cass County, Clay County, Moorhead city and Highway Patrol make it easy for communication and coordination.

Working in Kenmare, one of the first things Almlie realized for planning purposes is that the Ward County Sheriff’s Department is more than 50 miles down the road.

But he added, Burke County has offered its resources in case of an immediate emergency since Bowbells is just 12 miles away.

When he started he asked a lot of questions about equipment and has since ordered a piece of equipment that scans an offender’s license and a ticket is printed out rather than the officer having to physically write out a ticket.

He said that cuts the time an officer is tied up with someone about half, giving the officer more patrol time.

Otherwise, Kenmare officers use portable radios and are in contact with Minot Central Dispatch, at least every 10 minutes.

When asked if he thinks he chose the right profession, Almlie answers yes without hesitation.

He said he loves being a part of the community, he looks forward to meeting people and hopefully initiating some programs for youth and has gone to social media to interact more with the public.

Coffee with a cop

Almlie said the Kenmare Police Department now has a Facebook page that will be used to get information and reminders out to the public.

In addition, he would like to start a program called coffee with cops, in which people in the community enjoy a coffee and get to know each other.

“I’m there for the community and I’m serving my area of responsibility,” Almlie said. “I want to build up the public’s trust.”

Thus far Almlie has noticed that Kenmare residents are very cooperative and he calls it a “good community to watch.”

No major issues have surfaced under his watch, but he stresses that if something does, a tip from the public can make all the difference in solving a case.

“We’re getting calls,” Almlie said. “Even the smallest clues can help us connect the dots.”

Regarding his interaction with the public, Almlie said he loves honesty and it will go a long way in his book.

As an example, he said he gave quite a few rides on New Year’s Eve for people who may have had too much to drink.

That night, he didn’t mind being a taxi because first, people were honest in what they told him, secondly that meant fewer people on the road who may have been impaired thus less danger for the traveling public and finally everyone got home safe and legal.

Almlie doesn’t get a lot of spare time now that Kenmare PD is one officer short after Dustin Westerman joined the Ward County Sheriff’s Department.

But when he does, he travels back to Fargo to see friends. Otherwise, he likes to relax.

As he explained, he’s usually on call so even when he is off duty, he’s a phone call away from responding to an emergency. That means total relaxation and ample sleep comes as a premium and when he gets it he takes full advantage of it... 

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