WILLISTON, N.D. - Replacing 125 years of law enforcement experience isn't an easy task. Tonight, in part two of our changing of the guard series, we look at the three people who are tasked with just that.
It's been a fast-paced month for new Williston Chief of Police David Peterson.
"Keeping on track with all of the things, the Elks youth day, the Band Day, staying in touch with department heads and working with City Commission," said David Peterson
But the strength of the department made it easier to step into.
"To be chief of Police of Williston right now is probably one of the best times to operate as a chief," said Peterson.
After 18 years in law enforcement, Peterson says he never dreamed he would be chief of police in his home town.
"Williston, this is my home. I graduated high school in 1994, I graduated Williston State just a short bit after that," said Peterson.
Peterson isn't the only local to rise to a position of prominence in Law Enforcement. When Sheriff Scott Busching retires in July, Chief Deputy Verlan Kvande will take over.
"Born and raised here in Williston. Went to Grade school in Alamo before that closed, High School in Wild Rose before that closed, and started back at the jail in 1998," said Chief Deputy Verlan Kvande, Williams County Sheriff's Department.
After moving through the department, there's not much Kvande hasn't done so far...except run for the department's top position.
"It's exciting, a little bit of trepidation as far as moving into the political realm of what the office of the sheriff is in and of itself, that's going to be a new world for me," said Kvande.
The Police Department has a new captain as well. Amy Nickoloff comes from Northern Minnesota and got into law enforcement because of her twin sister. It's been a transition for her, too.
"Letting go of the reigns as lieutenant detective. Having that close relationship with every detective and having my hands in every case that we're working and the relationship with the state's attorney's office," said Capt.Amy Nickoloff, Williston Police Department.
But she believes in the abilities of those who are stepping in to new roles.
"I know we have great people who are coming up who are really good in leadership positions who are very driven and we're looking forward to the department growing and changing." said Nickoloff.
The outgoing captain, chief and sheriff are all confident their replacements will do the jobs well.
"Even though our department is now a young department without the experience, they're very smart, they're dedicated and I have no doubt they'll do a great job for the city of Williston.," said retired Williston Police Chief James Lokken.
"I've groomed Verlan for quite some time, cause I knew I was going to retire some time. I hired him 19 years ago and put him in the jail and I saw a spark there," said Scott Busching, Williams County sheriff
"I have the utmost confidence in David Peterson and Amy Nickoloff as the Chief and as the administrative captain," said retired Williston Police Department Capt. David Belisle.
And the new chief has a message to those who were mentors and leaders for the three new leaders for the department:
"I want to say, if they ever want to come back, we have positions," said Peterson.
A New generation of law enforcement for an ever-changing
Peterson, Nickoloff and Kvande all were grateful to have Lokken, Belisle and Busching to mentor and guide them.