MANDAN, N.D. — Steady growth in Mandan in recent years has brought an uptick in crime.
The city’s police experienced an 18 percent increase in calls between 2015 and 2016, The Bismarck Tribune reported . Drug offenses were up statewide, but they increased in Mandan by 43 percent last year. Assaults in the city were up 33 percent.
Local patrols took a hit during the months-long Dakota Access oil pipeline protests. Three Mandan officers were dedicated to the protests each day, but sometimes as many as 10 to 15 officers were needed on emergency calls, said Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler. The department was down five officers at the time.
“Manpower-wise, on the street, every day we were running short,” police Lt. Pat Haug said.
He noted that the combination of those factors likely affected traffic numbers.
“We on some days ran minimal shift numbers and that’s going to affect how many cars we stop, how many tickets we write. So there’s less officers on the street,” he said. “DUIs are down. We think that may play a part in it on why. We just weren’t out as much.”
Haug said this year is on track to be equal or busier than 2016. Haug said the department now has 37 sworn officers, with two openings. The department recently added a domestic violence detective.
Officers also recently trained in administering drugs to stop opioid overdoses. Mandan sees about two or three overdoses a month.
“We’re preparing for those things,” Ziegler said.
Mandan’s population grew to more than 21,000 in 2016, an 18 percent increase from 2010.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com