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New DPD officers sworn in

DPD Chief Dustin Dassinger, left, introduced new DPD officers Aaron Bates, Andrew Stidham, and Tyler Mahoney to city commissioners Tuesday. The new officers were officially sworn in by City Administrator Joe Gaa. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Three new Dickinson Police Department officers were sworn in at Tuesday's meeting of the City Commissioners.

Aaron Bates, from Oregon, served in the U.S. Air Force for six years, with a top rank of flight sergeant.

While serving, Bates helped conduct four separate presidential security missions.

"Before the Air Force I was in school for criminal justice and found out real quick that school wasn't a huge favorite of mine, so I went to find something different and there was a lot of schooling involved in that, as well," he said.

Andrew Stidham, from Ohio, worked as a correctional officer with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Cincinnati.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a military police officer in 2010.

"Right out of high school I joined the U.S. Army National Guard as a military police officer," he said. "I'm working on transferring here, to the Dickinson unit."

He added, "I'm just looking to start a good career."

Tyler Mahoney, a North Dakota native, enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard in 2015 as a military police officer.

He worked as phlebotomist at St. Alexis and recently as a correctional officer at North Dakota State Penitentiary.

"I've done everything I can to get to the point I'm at right now and done it a few years earlier than I anticipated, so that's good," Mahoney said.

Mayor Scott Decker reveals he shares a history with Mahoney.

"His dad was a sheriff's deputy here in town. I enlisted his dad into the national guard," he said. "So I remember you when you were just a little kid."

Bates and Stidham both graduated from Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck in December. Mahoney will be attending in February.

The new officers were sworn in by City Administrator Joe Gaa.

In other business:

A memorandum of understanding between the city and Southwest Narcotics Drug Task Force was approved.

Per the agreement, the city will provide financial management and compliance oversight to all grants received by the task force.

The city will provide insurance coverage for any vehicles owned or leased by the task force, with the cost of the coverage reimbursed to the city by the task force.

The city will also provide credit cards to the task force for official business, with the task force responsible for paying off the statement balances each month.

City Commissioners also approved the creation of a U.S. census complete count committee.

The U.S. Census Bureau will begin its census efforts in Spring 2020, with the city leading local educational efforts through 2019.

"Educating the community in how to be counted and the importance of being counted is really critical for our population base," Gaa said. "Getting that number in 2020 will be really exciting for us."

Decker emphasized the importance of having a total count.

"When I go out to the schools and talk to the children, they always ask, why don't we have this? Why doesn't this business come?" he said. "I tell the kids, they count rooftops. They count how many bodies are here."

A total count is also critical for Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement, for example. One person, Decker said, can equal $1,700 in federal funds per year.

"A city in Oklahoma got hit by a tornado, and because they missed the population of their university, they did not quality for FEMA funding," he said. "The very next adjacent city got hit and they had a full count and qualified for FEMA funding."

He added, "It's very important."