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December 3, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – Details of the proposed 2015-17 biennium budget for the Office of Attorney General were released today during Governor Dalrymple’s budget address.

“I am very pleased with the budget recommendations for law enforcement by Governor Dalrymple. The Governor has included a one-time appropriation to fund critical public safety needs for local law enforcement and recommended additional staffing for law enforcement in the Attorney General’s office,” said Stenehjem.

The proposed budget includes $20 million for grants to local law enforcement in oil-impacted counties, to be disbursed through the Attorney General’s office. The 63rd Legislature Assembly approved $16.6 million for oil-impact grants to local law enforcement agencies during the current biennium.

“The grant funds last biennium were disbursed to over 50 criminal justice agencies in oil-impacted counties to address identified critical needs. The funds helped to put 14 new local law officers on the streets and provide funding for officer safety equipment, patrol vehicles, and housing subsidies for newly-hired law enforcement officers,” said Stenehjem.

In addition to the law enforcement grant funds, the Governor’s budget asks the legislature to approve additional positions to combat the increased demands on state and local law enforcement agencies, including:

  • 2 BCI agents for Human Trafficking investigations, operating from Williston;
  • 7 additional BCI agents; 2 assigned to Watford City, 2 in Dickinson, 1 in Williston, 1 to southwest North Dakota and 1 agent to southeast North Dakota;
  • 1 additional criminal attorney, to assist county state’s attorneys with major cases;
  • 1 victim advocate to assist county state’s attorneys with major cases;
  • Continued funding for 1 attorney designated to prosecute drug crimes, a .5 criminal attorney and 2 intelligence analysts;
  • 1 additional criminal intelligence analyst position;
  • 1 grants administrative assistant;
  • 1 additional position in the sex offender registration section; and
  • 1 forensic scientist for the DNA section at the Crime Laboratory.

Generally, appropriation bills take effect in July.  The Governor’s budget puts funding and authorization for the new BCI agents into a separate appropriations bill, so that the funds will be available immediately after the bill passes. “We are ready to begin the hiring process as soon as the funds are available,” said Stenehjem. 

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