Law Enforcement Pilot Program | VideoAlex Hagan | 8/6/2012
"It`s a huge obstacle for us to find affordable quality housing for our new officers, to get them established in our community," said Dickinson Police Chief Dustin Dassinger.
"I just hired a deputy a week ago and he came down here from Minnesota with a camper and he`s living in a camper," said Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy.
State leaders are looking for ways to provide that housing for law enforcement.
"We don`t want to hear that we can`t get them because of lack of housing, so we are looking for creative ways to find spaces for those critically important people," said Governor Jack Dalrymple.
And creative means funding a law enforcement pilot program using three million dollars from a special state fund.
"Because of the need out here in the oil patch and the need for law enforcement and the problems with housing and the affordability of housing, that we should use that money for subsidized law enforcement housing," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
And the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is in charge of the money.
"Putting the law enforcement pilot program money in as equity allows that owner of the that building to drop those rents and make them affordable for those critical workers such as law enforcement," said North Dakota Housing Finance Agency Director Jolene Kline.
Police are glad the state is helping out.
"We`re very excited. That is a very huge tool for us in our recruiting efforts to hire outside people to work law enforcement in our city," said Dassinger.
And with more affordable housing projects coming in, law enforcement should have cheaper places to live in the near future.
The new Patterson Heights apartments in Dickinson will have eight units set aside for law enforcement personnel. The project is expected to be done in February.