Law Enforcement in the Bakken - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Law Enforcement in the Bakken

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$16.6 million dollars.

That's how much North Dakota legislators invested in state-wide law enforcement efforts.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says 'investment' is the best term for it --- as oil producing counties are contributing a great deal to the state's economy and with that, law enforcement needs have increased dramatically.

Stenehjem hosted a multi-county law enforcement meeting today in Watford City to discuss the funds will be distributed.

He says emergency needs will be assessed first: equipment, firearms, rental assistance for employees and overtime.

Law enforcement agencies will need to complete an application process explaining how they intend to use the funds and a board made up of peers in law enforcement will decide the funds are distributed.

The legislative session appropriated $9.6 million to the Attorney General's office to provide criminal justice grants and an additional $7 million specifically for county sheriffs departments in oil impacted counties.

(Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota Attorney General)

As this is the first year the state legislature has set aside additional funds for law enforcement, there are limitations.

Williams County Sheriff Scott Busching and Ward County Sheriff Steve Kukowski both expressed a need for more capacity in the jails --- but the $16.6 million this time focuses on keeping officers in the streets.

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