Thorvald Dahle, 46, and his wife, Colleen, an elementary school teacher, arrived in Lebanon on Thursday afternoon and finalized the purchase of their new home on Friday. Their furniture arrived from Minnesota on Saturday, and he was at work early Monday.
Also making the move west were his in-laws, Allen and Judy Geffe, who purchased a condominium in Lebanon. “It was my mother-in-law’s first trip west of Valley City, N.D.,” Dahle said.
Dahle succeeds Mike Healy, who retired in May. Dahle’s entire
23-year career thus far was spent with the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota, which has 144 sworn officers. He now leads a department authorized to have 27 officers, a new building and a six-cell jail.
He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in public administration from Moorhead State University in Minnesota.
Dahle worked his way through the ranks in Fargo, spending six years as a patrol officer, four years as a patrol sergeant and three years as a patrol lieutenant. He was captain of the support services division before taking the Lebanon job.
Dahle has had his eye on Oregon for many years. An older brother is an Oregon State University agriculture graduate who raises cherries in The Dalles area. Dahle worked on the orchard during summers while in college.
His twin sons, Noah and Seth, 21, are college seniors. Noah is studying psychology at North Dakota State University and Seth is studying criminal justice at Minnesota State University at Moorhead.
Dahle said his biggest accomplishment in Fargo was being the lead person on the purchase of a computer- aided dispatch system that cost $4 million and is expected to go live this week.
“It was a mammoth project that took four years to put together,” he said. “It includes dispatching, police records management, corrections management and records management for three fire departments. It will serve eight agencies in all.”
Dahle said he believes the Lebanon Police Department “is professional and well-equipped. It is a reflection on the department that the community is willing to support us so well. There is a positive attitude among the staff and the officers are well-trained.”
Off duty, Dahle said he enjoys biking, running, competing in sprint triathlons, scuba diving, hunting and fishing.
He is a member of the Lions Club and served on the Moorhead Planning Commission.
“I plan to be active in the community,” Dahle said. “I want to get out and meet the people of Lebanon. We can only provide the best service if we know what the people need and want.”
Dahle said the reward of being in law enforcement is “knowing at the end of the day that you helped someone or made a difference in your community.”
Source: Alex Paul the Gazette-Times
Category: The New Chief