NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley is pushing for mandatory minimum sentencing for violent crimes.

During an address at the State Capitol, he stated, “You commit a violent crime with a firearm, you should get a mandatory sentence.”

Wrigley released the 2022 crime statistics on Tuesday. According to the report, homicides in the state increased from 17 to 20 in just a year’s time. Of particular note are the unexpected rises in aggravated assault cases (which increased by 10%) and kidnapping cases (which rose by nearly 31%).

During his presentation of these numbers, Wrigley also touched on the law enforcement shortage North Dakota is facing.

“You are having a hard time recruiting,” explained Wrigley, “because time and time again, they are assaulted while making arrests. People are fleeing, they are being mistreated, and no one is getting decent sentences.”

However, there were some brighter spots in the crime report as well. DUIs, in particular, saw a massive decrease over the previous year.

“Down. Down. Down. Down,” Wrigley repeated. “When people know what their penalty will be, they act accordingly. The legislature of North Dakota should be proud of this.”

DUIs aren’t the only decrease. According to Wrigley, drug and narcotic violations are down — however, addiction and overdoses are still a major problem in North Dakota. Wrigley argues no policymaker in our state can deny ND has a violent crime problem — one that will only get worse if not quickly taken control of.