Fort Dodge Police Department shows it has the spirit we need

In case you missed it, the Fort Dodge community rose up this week and shined.

I’m talking about the Lip Sync Challenge video in which the Fort Dodge Police Department redefines the iconic rock band Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”

Thank you, Officer Matt Weir.

If you missed his reincarnation of Freddie Mercury, here’s the link:


But more, if you missed the video you missed witnessing the community members who stepped out of their shops — and perhaps their comfort zones — to play crucial backup and ensemble roles.

Thank you, man watering the lawn.

Days ahead of the video’s release, the FDPD had teased the video and it didn’t disappoint.

So thank you, overall.

Thank you, too, for siting it in downtown Fort Dodge and making it about the community. Where multiple other challengers focused solely on first responders, you guys ran with an idea that has continued to benefit Fort Dodge: the spirit of cooperation.

To that end, when the crowd finally gets behind you in the video, the viewer, I believe, understands that they are behind you in real life as well.

Speaking of cooperation, Fort Dodge’s new school superintendent, Jesse Ulrich, stopped by the office Thursday with Jennifer Lane, the FDCSD director of communications and community relations.

He also stopped by with cookies, I hear, but those didn’t make it up to the second floor.

Ulrich begins the 2018-2019 school year eager to see students do well.

Challenged by a somewhat stagnant graduation rate out of Senior High, he is looking for ways to help a greater number of students achieve their high school diplomas.

Not a surprising goal.

What is particularly welcome is that he believes the spirit of cooperation that has steadily improved this city can be translated in a way that will, eventually, benefit his students.

So we talked about our hopes for an even better Fort Dodge, here in my office, with Sports Editor Eric Pratt and reporter Chad Thompson chiming in.

What does that mean?

To each individual out there it will mean something different.

But here is a basic necessity: a firm foundation.

This fall, there will be kids in our classrooms who will come to school unprepared in multiple ways. Perhaps they won’t have slept the night before, or eaten. Maybe they will come from a home where the adults consider education and school a waste. Perhaps they live with drug- or alcohol-addicted parents. Maybe they have no parents at all.

The point is, we don’t know their individual story, but we know a marker to which they could — and should — aspire: high school graduation.

To get some of these students there, it will take every bit of the spirit of cooperation this city has. And probably then some.

Our new superintendent only needs to look at the FDPD’s new video to see where he can find a bunch of that spirit.

Jane Curtis is editor of The Messenger.