To Serve and Protect: Ride along with officer Justin O'NeillAll 82 men and women in the Grand Forks Police department have taken an oath to serve and protect. It's not an easy job -- and at times it's extremely dangerous.
By: Victor Correa, WDAZ
All 82 men and women in the Grand Forks Police department have taken an oath to serve and protect. It's not an easy job -- and at times it's extremely dangerous.
We rode along with Officer Justin O'Neill, born and raised here in Grand Forks with a decorated family history. His father, Peter O'Neill is the city's fire chief and his grandfather Cyril, was Mayor of Grand Forks from 1972 to 1980.
While we were with officers we responded to a number of calls. Two of which were domestic disputes -- which officer O'Neill says can be some of the most dangerous calls an officer can respond to. He says you're in people's homes where they can have any number of weapons and when arrest needs to be made, both parties -- victim and aggressor can become confrontational. And while Officer O'Neill has only been with the department for two years it has opened his eyes on the community he grew up in.
O'Neill said, "Very surprising, I mean, you see a lot of stuff especially since I grew up here, things you didn't think went on in Grand Forks but its been a good experience you meet a lot of new people all the time, get to spend a lot of time with people, sometimes not people in the best of moods, but overall it works out pretty well, so I enjoy it."
Officer O'Neill says the hardest part about being a police officer is the stress level.