Travis Lafferty, the newest officer with the Rugby Police Department, began his first solo shift the afternoon of Monday, March 29.
“I just got off the field training, so I will be on my own here starting today,” Lafferty said.
His first task of the day was to patrol the area near Rugby High School, he said.
Lafferty, a native of Walhalla, said he and his family were happy to be in Rugby. Lafferty’s wife, Jessie, is a registered nurse at Heart of America Medical Center. Their son and daughter, ages 10 and eight, attend Ely Elementary School.
“It’s a small town like where I’m from, but it also has some of the luxuries of a big town,” Lafferty said of Rugby. “They have a hockey team here, so I don’t have to haul my son a half hour for him to go to practice, which is nice, and they have archery, which my daughter is exceptional in. So, that was a huge thing.”
“Plus,” he added, “you’re 45 minutes from everything. My wife’s sister lives in Bottineau and you’re 45 minutes from Bottineau, and you’re 45 minutes from Devils Lake and I love to fish.”
“You’re about 45 minutes from Minot, which has all the amenities you could ask for, so it was just a perfect location,” Lafferty added.
Lafferty graduated from Lake Region State College in December of last year. “This is my first job in law enforcement,” he said. “I worked at Motor Coach Industries in Pembina, North Dakota, for the past three or four years, before that building buses.”
Lafferty said Rugby has “the small town feel here, where everybody looks out for everybody and that’s the kind of place I was hoping to work for. People helping people is community policing. So with them helping us, it makes my job go a lot smoother and that’s what I was hoping for.”
The people of Rugby “have been really helpful and they watch out for each other,” Lafferty added. “That’s huge.”
“You always have an idea what’s going on at all times, and that’s really helpful as a law enforcement officer to protect this community when you know the citizens are here to back you no matter what you do, so that’s nice to have,” Lafferty added.