Land Board Commits Nearly $1.4 Million to Support Law Enforcement Agencies in the Oil Patch
BISMARCK, N.D. – The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today committed nearly $1.4 million in state grants to support local law enforcement agencies in North Dakota’s oil-production region.
The grants approved by the Land Board today will support sheriffs’ offices in Divide, Dunn, McKenzie, Stark and Ward counties as well as police departments in Arnegard, Belfield and New Town. The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office will provide nearly $1 million for the latest grant round and the state’s Energy Impact Grant program will cover about $391,000 in grant funding. During the biennium, the Land Board will award a total of about $240 million in impact grants, including additional grants for the region’s law enforcement agencies.
"The primary purpose of these initial grants is to address immediate needs that will assist in putting police officers, properly protected, on the streets and highways in oil impacted counties,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who also serves on the Land Board. “The remainder of the law enforcement funds will be disbursed in the grant round that follows in September.”
Gov. Jack Dalrymple is chairman of the five-member board. Other board members are Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
The law enforcement grants approved by the Land Board today include funding for patrol vehicles, radios, officer safety gear and other equipment. Grants also will be used to help local law enforcement agencies cover the costs of overtime pay and to provide housing allowances. For a complete list of law enforcement grants approved today by the Land Board go to www.nd.gov/energyimpact
The grants approved by the Land Board today are part of a larger state commitment to help local law enforcement officials and other emergency responders address increased workloads created by the region’s growing population and rapid development. State funding appropriated to support the region’s law enforcement agencies and other emergency responders during the 2013-2015 biennium includes:
- $9.6 million for Attorney General grants to Oil Patch law enforcement agencies.
- $7 million in energy impact grants for sheriffs’ departments.
- $7 million for emergency medical service providers.
- $3.5 million for fire protection districts.
- $9.6 million for critical access hospitals
In all, the state will invest about $2.6 billion to support the state’s oil and gas region during the 2013-2015 biennium. The state’s 2013-2015 commitment – more than twice the amount of the previous, two-year funding package of about $1.2 billion – is being used to address a wide range of needs in western North Dakota, including: highway, county and township road improvements; water supply and water treatment projects; the development of low-to-moderate income housing and assistance for growing school districts. Other state commitments include stationing more Highway Patrol troopers in western North Dakota; enhancements to the region’s court system and funding for dust suppression projects.