Belfield fills police chief positionBELFIELD — There will be a new police chief here in the coming weeks after Michael Roth of Illinois accepted the position.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
BELFIELD — There will be a new police chief here in the coming weeks after Michael Roth of Illinois accepted the position.
Roth, a 27-year veteran of law enforcement with more than half of that time spent as a sergeant, attended a Belfield City Council meeting at City Hall on Monday, where he was offered the job.
“I would like to help set the community on a right course because I’ll be here for the long haul,” he said. “I would like to talk with the people in the community and get to know where and what they think the issues are, and address those issues by using local resources. Talking to the people will be the best way to find things out, if you ask me.”
Last month, Roth was one of the police chief candidates who took part in phone interviews with the council.
The council had previously offered the position to Sidney Mann of Jamestown, but Mann decided not to accept it.
Roth will be joined on the Belfield force by full-time deputy police officer Steven Bryan, who is currently a prison guard in Montana. Bryan is expected to be in Belfield soon.
Roth said he still needs to wrap things up in Illinois before he can officially come to North Dakota but when he does, he will be ready to hit the ground running.
Roth spent a part of his day Monday, after driving from Illinois, meeting with Mayor Leo Schneider.
“The people are nice and the mayor and (former police chief Larry) Johnson have been great today,” Roth said. “We’ve spent the day doing a lot and the people seem nice. It’s all been great.”
It may be at least one month before Roth assumes his duties as police chief. Roth wants to build upon what Belfield already has and make it an even better, safer place for people to live, he said.
“I would like to make Belfield the envy of the county,” he said. “I want people to come here from all over the country and enjoy themselves, but I also want to make sure they behave.”
City Councilman Harold Kubischta told Roth he will need to be visible in the community and assured him he that he will have his work cut out for him as Belfield’s police chief.
“It will be a lot of work on your part,” Kubischta said. “You’ll be our eyes and ears and will need to familiarize yourself with the people and the laws here. If you take this job, you’ll be a busy guy.”
Johnson gave Roth his approval after he spent time prior to Monday’s meeting showing Roth around town.
“We spent part of (Monday) together and he has my endorsement,” Johnson said. “Welcome aboard.”