Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department launches a Rural Enforcement and Outreach Program

BURLEIGH COUNTY, N.D. - Burleigh County Sheriff's Department started a Rural Enforcement and Outreach program this summer.

Six deputies are taking part of REO. The department divided the county into three regions and two deputies are assigned to each region as the point of contact.

Rural communities in Burleigh County are going to see more law enforcement presence.

McKenzie Township Chair Jim Heisler said: "It gives us a chance to interact with them and the exposure here. And, hopefully people will look at it as a positive"

It's all a part of the Rural Enforcement and Outreach program, Sheriff Kelly Leben: "I think that's what the program is, visibility and communication."
better known as REO.

"The only way we're going to know what they need from our department is to build that trust," said Burleigh Sheriff Kelly Leben.

Building relationships and showing rural areas they care.

"We have several deputies that are going to be in these communities all the time listening to needs and meeting those needs," said Investigations Deputy Taylor Wray.

Deputies making it a point to make more connections in all parts of the county.

Wray said, "They're associating an actual face and not a badge."

Their mission is for people to put the names to their faces in all the areas they cover.

"We've been around and doing business since the 1980 and honestly we have never ever seen a program similar to this," said Napoleon CHS GM Jeff Mehl

His business took part in a talk provided by the REO program about active shooters

"We've also conducted impromptu training or even some talks ranging from basic neighborhood crime watch type stuff all the way to like an active assailant," said Major Jim Hulm.

Deputies say these relationships can also help tackle crime.

"If these people are willing to stop us and tell us about hey I see this strange car driving the other night and it had this license plate on it. That has and will help us solve crimes," said Deputy Colin Weigel.

Making strides to also build more trust.

"Trying to hit up these smaller communities every shift during the day and at night because we're responsible for the whole county and that's what we're going to do. We’re going to be out in the entire county rather than be bound up in the city limits so to speak or in the outskirts of the city," said Sgt. Dusty Braun.

Aiming to make a difference, connections and even friendships.

Sheriff Leben says the new program is at no cost to the county tax payers.

He says they're using resources they already had and rerouting them to more specific areas to make these connections.