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Armed with experience, Jesse Wellen is ready to become Watford City’s newest police chief

Watford City Chief Jesse Wellen
Watford City Chief Jesse Wellen(kfyr)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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WATFORD CITY, N.D. - It’s a changing of the guard in Watford City. After 35 years of service, including five in Watford, current chief Shawn Doble is retiring, meaning the position was open for Assistant Chief Jesse Wellen to take the reins of the department starting Monday April 19.

Chief Doble accomplished a lot for law enforcement during his tenure.

“Chief Doble has brought a large amount of positive change to the department, through policy, through programs, through community involvement, and most importantly development of our officers,” said Sgt. Jeffrey Jenson, the public information officer.

Doble’s second in command, Jesse Wellen, was appointed by the Watford City City Council earlier this month. Mayor Philip Riely says Wellen was an excellent choice based on his experience and training.

“The mentorship that he provides to the more junior officers... it is noticed and really welcomed throughout the force,” said Riely.

Wellen joined the Watford City Police Department in 2011. He went into the military after high school and then worked to become a police officer. He quickly rose above the ranks, becoming the chief in less than 2 years. Due to the fast pace of the job amid the peak of the oil boom, Wellen felt he may have not been the best choice for the position a decade ago.

“[The department] was rapidly growing, especially not having that experience, it was just overwhelming at that time.”

With 10 years of experience in his pocket, Wellen says he is now ready to lead the Watford City Police Department. He likes the comradery that comes from being in law enforcement and the community engagement.

“The most rewarding aspect of the job... is being able to interact with persons every day and trying to help them with whatever situation they are dealing with,” Wellen says.

He says he wants to continue building support with the community and fill jobs that were left open due to the pandemic. Wellen adds the force is well equipped to handle most situations.

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