As Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn expresses concern over public safety downtown, some feel the city commission is approaching issues downtown too aggressively.
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — As Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn expresses concern over public safety downtown, some feel the city commission is approaching issues downtown too aggressively
“We have to take back our downtown. Right now, the perception is our downtown is not safe and we have to address it,” said Piepkorn.
Along with construction and population growth, the downtown scene is growing and getting busier. Whether it’s families during the day or young adults at night.
The city commission says they receive complaints about loud music late at night and aggressive panhandling.
“I believe police presence in the downtown, visible police presence. You’re visible not only for the bad guys but it’s also let people know you’re there,” said Piepkorn.
There are harm reduction and mobile outreach programs that provide services including crisis response.
Some say the city enforcing tighter restrictions downtown could kill the nightlife and sway people from moving to Fargo.
“I’ve kind of got issues with the city commission and the way they’re enforcing downtown. They’re trying to pull away, for example, amplified sound. They’re trying to require permits for it, can’t go past 10 pm,” said Piehl.
Owen Piehl moved to Fargo a few years ago for college. He tells me he enjoys Fargo’s music and arts scenes.
“Going bar hopping and stuff everyone here compared to a lot of places I’ve been are really nice,” said said Piehl.
“I came here because of the community. It was basically between here and Grand Forks, and I love the downtown scene, NDSU’s campus’s vibe is really great,” said Piehl.
Andrew Selensky was born and raised in Fargo and appreciates the growth.
“Ever since I started living downtown, I’ve been here 22 years and I’ve gotten to see this city grow. I’ve gotten to see the bigger buildings get put up and it turn more into a city life with RDO Square and it’s been really cool to see the growth in Fargo,” said Selensky.
People admit it can get a little rowdier at night.
“Thursday, I walked around the block where the Bismarck is. There was four people just blitzed out of their minds whether on drugs or alcohol. One laying on the boulevard, one laying on the sidewalk, you can’t have that,” said Piepkorn.
“The night it can be a little interesting at nights. Sometimes there’s a little bit more action than others, but for the most part it’s a safe environment,” said Selensky.