Although North Dakota certainly doesn’t have the population of other states its size, with just 640,000 residents, this state encompasses 53 counties and nearly 71,000 square miles and is now the site of a large oil boom. In addition to dealing with issues in criminal law and anti-terrorism throughout the state, federal law enforcement officials are also responsible for addressing crimes that arise out of the four Indian reservations in North Dakota.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 574 federal law enforcement officers employed in North Dakota in 2008. The largest group of federal law enforcement officers in North Dakota during this time were involved in criminal investigations/enforcement (370), followed by police response/patrol (170).
Federal Law Enforcement Education and Training in North Dakota
Individuals interested in a career in federal law enforcement must follow a clear path set forth by federal agencies. Although not all federal law enforcement positions demand a college degree, many do, and still others that don’t require a college education often prefer that candidates possess them. For example, analytical, business and IT positions in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) demand, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree, as does the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for most of the professional/technical positions and for the majority of positions with the Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals.
Beyond a comprehensive education, training is an integral part of achieving a career in one of the federal law enforcement agencies. The majority of training for federal law enforcement jobs occurs at one of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) campuses.
The closest FLETC site for federal law enforcement employees in North Dakota is FLETC-Cheltenham, which is located in Maryland. The FLETC-Cheltenham was established in 2000 and has since served as a law enforcement training center for the Department of the Treasury, the Capitol Police, the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and a number of federal agencies, although the principle function of the site is for firearms and vehicle re-qualification and continuing professional training. The FLETC-Cheltenham, which is located about 15 miles from Washington D.C., trains more than 76 agencies.
Federal Law Enforcement Offices in North Dakota
The following federal law enforcement offices are located in North Dakota:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Grand Forks (detention facility)
U.S. Secret Service
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Grand Forks
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Williston – Sloulin Field International Airport
- Saint John
- Minot – Minot International Airport
- Grand Forks – Mark Andrews International Airport
- Fargo – Hector International Airport
Department of Homeland Security
Federal Law Enforcement in Action in North Dakota
Recent news from the U.S. Attorney’s office, North Dakota District, revealed that federal law enforcement agents recently toured the Bakken oil field in Fargo, North Dakota, where they detailed plans of a team approach to combat the crime problem in the state.
Specifically, officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have promised the state more manpower to deal with crimes associated with the cross-border issues here, such as drug trafficking and organized crime and gangs. The partnership, called Project Safe Bakken, will put more federal agents in Minot, Bismarck, and Sidney, as well as additional agents in the oil patch.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also struggling to keep up with the increased demands from the North Dakota law enforcement community, who have experienced a marked increase in crime since the oil boom.
For example, North Dakota cities in the northwest, which had very little crime activity before the oil boom, are now experiencing a major surge. Watford City, for example, received just 41 crime-related calls in 2006. By 2011, this number had jumped to 4,000.
Other federal agencies lending a hand for Project Safe Bakken include the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.