Let's face it, 2020 was an awful year.

COVID-19 cost us a whole lot of everything in North Dakota.  Jobs, relationships and of course lives.  We also spent a lot of time with our families and a lot of extra time at home.  Stress was at an all time high, and maybe that has something to do with what I'm about to tell you.

According to an article on the Bismarck Tribune, North Dakota had more homicides in 2020 than EVER before, at least since they started keeping track of such statistics back in 1978.  We had a total of 32 murders in 2020 and that's up from 26 in 2019, which was also a record at the time.  12 of the homicides were the result of domestic violence and many of the other murders were drug deals that went terribly wrong.

The county with the most murders was Ward County with a total of 7. 

Minot, North Dakota is Ward Counties largest city.  Burleigh County had a total of 2 and Morton County only had 1.  That's good news for our local area.  The majority of murders were not concentrated in the oil patch either.  North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said the impact of COVID-19 on crime is likely to be analyzed for years to come.

Other violent crimes continue to rise in North Dakota like Aggravated Assaults, which saw a 13% decline in 2019, increased by 10% in 2020 to 1,371.  Simple Assaults also is moving in the wrong direction, increasing from 6,062 in 2019 to 6,180 in 2020.

In a bit of good news, drug related arrests dropped in 2020. 

Down 2.1% in 2020.

Moral of the story?  Always be aware of your surroundings.  That's what I've taught my kid, and something I firmly believe in.  You never know what you could walk into.  Always be prepared to take action.  I still feel very safe in this state, but I'm on my toes.  You should be too.  You have to look no further than the 14 year old girl who was stabbed to death senselessly in Fargo last week.  And that happened in broad daylight.  You just never know.


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