More Federal Assistance Needed in the Bakken
As the population and job opportunities increase in North Dakota's fast-growing oil patch, so does the crime rate. Officials in Williston are seeking more federal help in an effort to keep up.
The opportunistic drug and sex crime sectors have made themselves a cozy little home in the Bakken, and its law-abiding new neighbors are not happy.
'We've seen a substantial increase in narcotics arrests, and we've seen prostitution come into our area,' said David Peterson, a lieutenant detective with the Williston police department. 'Most law enforcement out in the Bakken region would appreciate the assistance.'
The FBI has been out to the Bakken on multiple occasions, staying for a week or two, sometimes more. But it just isn't enough to deter criminals for long.
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said in an interview:
They want FBI and DEA, but they need them here on a permanent basis — period. If FBI or DEA agents come in for two weeks or a little more and then leave, it doesn't always get the job done ... as soon as they get acclimated, they're out of here.
Overall crime in North Dakota increased by 5.5 percent in 2013 (compared with 2012), with drug arrests rising by 19.3 percent and instances of aggravated assault increasing by around 23 percent.
Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) together continue "working to address those issues on a federal level, pushing for more money to fund roads in the region, increase rail safety and improve the amount and caliber of housing in the region."