February 2, 2021

Law enforcement sees little drop in crime

By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer

A drop in the area’s population due to the decline in oil activity, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lower number of crimes being committed in Watford City and McKenzie County in 2020.
“Actual cases for reports of crime, arrests and those kinds of things are down by at least 25 percent from the previous year,” states Shawn Doble, Watford City police chief. “Which is surprising. It’s been a strange year, just odd.”
The Watford City Police Department has seen its number of calls for service increase from 17,901 in 2019 to 18,057 in 2020, while the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department saw its number of calls for service drop by approximately 1,585.
While the number of calls for 2020 went up, the top incident numbers fell from record highs in 2019.
According to Doble, DUI incidents went from 267 to 173, motor vehicle crashes dropped from 338 in 2019 to 149 in 2020, DUS/R (driving under suspension or revocation) went from 230 in 2019 to 175 in 2020, drugs and paraphernalia went from 243 in 2019 to 168 in 2020 and domestic violence went from 182 in 2019 to 133 in 2020.

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