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Refugee to officer: New N.D. police recruit tells story of perseverance

Ntumba Lusamba, who came to America after spending 11 years in a refugee camp, was recently sworn into the Fargo Police Department


Photo/Fargo PD via Twitter

By Ashley Silver

FARGO, N.D. — One North Dakota police recruit had a unique story to tell when being sworn into the Fargo Police Department. Ntumba Lusamba came to America after fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo and spending 11 years in a refugee camp.

According to, the 24-year-old officer was born in Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo during a time of tribal wars and corrupt policing.

“We had to give up everything and then just leave,” Lusamba told Inforum.

Lusamba and her family fled to a refugee camp when she was seven, where they remained for the next 11 years.

“It taught me to be patient in life,” Lusamba told the media platform. “You have to be patient, because what you wish for is not what you’re going to get most of the time, so you just have to learn how to be patient with whatever you get and whatever comes your way.”

Lusamba became emotional as her 7-year-old son pinned her badge during her swearing-in ceremony, with family from across the country watching.

“It was (emotional.) I was holding back my tears. Yeah it was very emotional, because I was thinking about a lot of stuff. I was like, ‘At his age I was going through hell, but him here, standing and pinning my badge, it really means a lot to me. I am so grateful,’” Lusamba told Inforum.

Lusamba has completed the Fargo Police Academy and will soon be hitting the streets in her own patrol car after field training.

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