September 12, 2012

The calls keep

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

The numbers are staggering. Over the past six years in McLean County driving under the influence arrests are up nearly 300 percent. Drug abuse violation arrests are up 243 percent, and liquor law violation arrests are up 140 percent. In another statistic, calls for service to the McLean County Sheriff’s Department are on pace to eclipse last year’s total. Calls for service have more than doubled in the past five years. In 2006, there were 5,380 calls to dispatchers at the law enforcement center in Washburn. That number climbed to 9,099 in 2010, then jumped to 12,266 last year. Through the end of August, the department has fielded 9,220 calls to the dispatch center in Washburn. And there are four months to go. Calls for service include traffic stops, paper services, motorist assists – any kind of contact with law enforcement. Broken down, the most frequent calls are: Driving Under the Influence 2011 – 110. Through Aug. 28 – 115. Liquor law violations 2011 - 35. Through Aug. 28 – 44. Drug/narcotic violations 2011 – 62. Through Aug. 28 – 52. Authorities attribute the increase in calls to traffic complaints and general incoming calls. With oil activity in northwest North Dakota, the prime artery for traffic is U. S. Highway 83, and to a lesser extent, N.D. 37.

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