The closest major city to me is Fargo, North Dakota — it’s a very pleasant place, quite a bit smaller than Minneapolis, but that’s part of the charm. It also has occasional problems: it’s very flat, and sometimes experiences major flooding, and of course, snow. If you want to invest in community infrastructure, the most useful contributions are sandbags and snowplows.
Sometimes, the kids get a little unruly — there have actually been small riots in Fargo, typically over sports events and rock concerts.
Before the North Dakota State University football team won its national championship during the 2011 season, Fargo police planned for the possibility that celebrations might turn ugly. The partying turned out to be peaceful, but police officials say sporting events, concerts or large protests are the most likely scenarios that could lead to unrest in the metro area.
The last riot to hit Fargo was in June 2001 at Lindenwood Park during the Testicle Festival (read coverage from 2001 here), a three-day, 33-band rock concert. At least seven people were arrested during a confrontation with about 40 officers.
But don’t you worry! Fargo, like many small towns across the nation, is well prepared to deal with future conflicts!
That’s the Fargo police in camo gear, hanging on a $256,000 armored truck. In the white snow.
The article also points out that two rural counties, Richland and Stutsman, each with a total population of around 20,000, have sheriffs driving about in $650,000 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
Don’t be fooled. All of this military hardware isn’t for maintaining the civil order — it would be overkill and incite more problems than it could solve. But maybe we ought to consider the possibility that we’re quietly gearing up to invade Canada.
We’ve got to do something about the camouflage gear, though. When the military might of the Dakotas rolls over the border into the Great White North, the Winnipegians will be able to spot them from far off.