Posted 2/13/19 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
As Watford City’s population continues to swell to an estimated 10,000 residents, crime is growing at a rate that even surprises Shawn Doble, Watford City police chief.
“While this is definitely not the wild west, we are seeing a rather substantial increase in all the levels of criminal activity,” states Doble. “Everything is expanding proportionally to our population growth.”
According to Doble, his department responded to a record 16,501 calls for service in 2018 compared to 14,237 one year ago, with those calls ranging from drunk driving, aggravated assaults, larceny and rapes to burglary and disturbances.
“Drugs and alcohol abuse drive all the other crimes, such as theft, burglary, DUIs and domestic disturbances that we are seeing,” stated Doble. “Violent crime, such as aggravated assaults, follow drug and alcohol use. People get angry and bad things start to happen when they’ve abused alcohol or drugs.”
During the past year, Doble says that violent crime has increased 20 percent since 2017 with his officers responding to 33 aggravated assaults, 46 domestic violence cases and five forcible rapes.
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