Eastern Montana has seen an increase in crimes and drug activity closer to the areas that have exploded in population and jobs near the oil fields. The Federal Bureau of Investigations currently has an office located in Sidney, and there have been comments about relocating the office to western North Dakota.
While no decisions or statements have been released by the FBI on relocation, Gov. Steve Bullock has sent a letter to the Director of the FBI James Comey urging him to keep the location in Sidney. Bullock stated in the letter that Richland County was the only jurisdiction to offer office space and assistance.
The office was opened in 2013 as a way to help combat the increase of violent crime and drug trafficking in the Bakken fields. The sheriff of Richland County offered office space at no charge to the incoming agents. Bullock states in his letter that Sidney is in the same distance from Williston and Watford City, the center of activity.
While much of the violent crimes haven’t hit the Glasgow area, drug trafficking and population growth have been affecting local law enforcement. Much of the activity farther east in the state has challenged Richland County law enforcement.
“In rural areas, such as Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota, law enforcement challenges are magnified by vast distances small agencies are required to cover,” Bullock stated in his letter.
Bullock thanked the agency for support and hoped that the partnerships made would continue.