A day in the life of a Bismarck police officer

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:14 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Police officers. We see them patrolling our community or maybe even stopping a car on the side of the road. But, more than that, we see them as advocates when we are in trouble.

Bismarck Police Patrol Officer Joseph Gebhardt checks his police vehicle before he hits the street. He has been an officer for four and a half years and really enjoys his job.

“It’s a fun job, it’s a really fulfilling job. Just like anything else, there are good days and bad days. For the most part, it’s a very fulfilling job that’s rewarding,” says Gebhardt.

The police department currently has 162 officers serving the community. Each day, the police department says a patrol officer strives to make a positive interaction with the public, and some days that’s hard. When it comes to hiring new officers, they have specifics they look for.

“So, we really look for are you a good person first of all. Second of all, you really have to have a passion for doing the job because it’s not a very easy job. It’s a tough job and really, you need to know what you’re getting into,” says Jason Stugelmeyer, Deputy Chief of Bismarck Police.

It takes a lot of training to be a Bismarck police officer. There are numerous calls that come in throughout the day and each of them could be different.

“It kind of varies from day to day, that’s kind of the fun thing of the job. You just never know what you’re going to respond to throughout the day. We go to a lot of welfare checks or unwanted subjects throughout the day,” says Gebhardt.

Patrol officers say they feel the support of the Bismarck community and that helps them to be enthusiastic about their job. They know that they have to work hard in order to get positive results.

“You have to earn it, I’m not just saying I think we do a great job. I think the numbers and statistics back that. Most of the community supports us and I think a lot of that reason is because, in general, the city of Bismarck is safe and that’s because of the hard work of our men and women here at the police department,” says Stugelmeyer.

Police officers have to wear many hats when it comes to their job. They act as leaders, voices of reason, problem solvers, and investigators — just to name a few.

“We are people too. We have emotions and stuff like that. I am just really grateful that they are really supportive of us and seem to be understanding,” says Gebhardt.

At the end of the day, the police department says they just want everyone to know that they want to help the community in any way they can and are ready to serve when they are called.

The Bismarck Police Department is currently hiring and hopes to add 10 new police officers. The application deadline is February 17.