Cultural Liaison Officer
Officer Cristie Jacobsen serves as the Fargo Police Department's Cultural Liaison Officer. The department created her position to provide Fargo's large new American population with a familiar face in law enforcement that they could reach out to with questions and concerns.
The new American population consists of refugees, immigrants, and asylees. Officer Jacobsen also serves our diverse Native American population. The Native American community in Fargo represents more than 21 federally recognized nations from the U.S. and Canada. Each nation has its own beliefs, practices, traditions, cultural values, protocol, history and language.
Officer Jacobsen has an office at the Fargo Police Department, but much of her time is spent working with new Americans or assisting agencies in other locations. Officer Jacobsen's work is "call-generated". Her agenda for the day focuses on addressing concerns she receives when refugees contact her by phone or when other agencies seek assistance with an issue that pertains to the new Americans or Native Americans. She works with all local ethnic groups, with a particular emphasis on those who have recently arrived in our area, as well as the many agencies that are designed specifically to assist the needs of the new Americans.
In addition, Officer Jacobsen works with Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota to provide basic information to newly arrived refugees, including how to interact with the police, our state's alcohol laws, domestic violence, age of consent and driving laws.
Inside the Fargo Police Department, Jacobsen trains new recruits on cultural diversity. She also speaks to organizations, churches and departments on interacting with new Americans, as well as answering any questions or concerns that they have relating to cultural issues.