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Crime increases with growth in city population

Posted 2/21/18 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

As Watford City’s population continues to grow, the Watford City Police Department has seen its number of calls for service climb to record numbers. And no one is probably more surprised by the increase than is Shawn Doble, Watford City Police chief.
“This past year (2017) was a record for the number of calls for service that we have ever had,” states Doble, who has been leading the city’s police force for the past year and a half. “For a town of our size, having 14,237 calls for service is high.”
According to Doble, FBI statistics have pegged Watford City’s population at around 8,800 people. But he says that number can mushroom upward to a daily estimate of 12,000 people when the number of transient people who are coming into town to work or are traveling to well sites are taken into consideration.
“Without a doubt, we’re seeing an increase in calls for service as we have seen an increase in oil prices and oil activity in and around Watford City,” states Doble. “And I would expect to see our numbers increase in 2018.”
According to Doble, traffic stops and traffic management issues resulted in the majority of the department’s activity the past year.
“We’re averaging 30 arrests a month that result from traffic stops,” states Doble. “Those arrests range from DUIs, outstanding warrants, driving with suspended licenses and drugs.”

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