Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $76,723)
The state of North Dakota is known as a quiet, peaceful state with vast open land. In recent years, the discovery of an oil-rich Bakken formation lying beneath the northwest portion of the state created an energy boom. The ‘Bakken’ is comprised of nine of the state’s 53 counties and has a high concentration of crime. High-wage oil field and energy job availability brought an influx of workers to the small towns in the region. Since 2014, the region has seen sharp increases in violent crime and drug activity. Even though the oil activity has seen a decline in the area, the violent crime remains.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota (USAOND) is working with the North Dakota Office of Attorney General (NDOAG) on the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program in efforts to reduce drug and violent crime activity in the Bakken. With the awarding of the 2018 funding, work began to analyze crime statistics, identify key drivers, and create and implement a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) to aid in the PSN endeavors in the Bakken. The federally approved competitive process will be used to award funding to projects that support the goals outlined in the SAP through subawards.
A PSN Task Force was created to further develop and maintain ongoing coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials with an emphasis on prevention, tactical intelligence gathering, more vigorous and strategic prosecutions, and enhanced accountability. Key partners in the project include the USAOND; NDOAG; Statistical Analysis Center (SAC); Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI); and local police departments, sheriff, and states attorney offices. These partners represent the vast geographical area and are key players in addressing violent crime affecting the Bakken.
If awarded, PSN 2021 grant funding will be used to continue to support the PSN Task Force goals and objectives to reduce violent crime and create safer communities. The PSN grant strategy is being implemented by continuing to subaward funds during the 36-month grant project period beginning October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2024.