Combined McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center now open

By  | 

MCKENZIE COUNTY, N.D. - The new $57 million Combined McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center opened Friday afternoon.

Residents and state leaders marveled at the new building.

"Its a state of an art facility, it looks awesome and, yes I think it will be very safe for all the community," said Cheryl Faulkner, McKenzie County.

"A tremendous step forward for the county, for the region in terms of enhancing public safety," said Gov. Doug Burgum.

The 94,000 square-foot building will bring the McKenzie County Sheriff's Department, Watford City Police, Highway Patrol, the BCI and several other agencies under one roof.

"It'll help with teamwork, it also helps with space that the people are working in themselves, so it will help with recruitment and retention. it's something that where, if you're crammed into three offices with 20 officers, that's not fair. Now, people have their own individual space. This is something that was really needed," said Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford.

In addition, the space increases, the number of beds in the jail from 21 to 136.

"This economic boom came with its problems as well, including an almost 400 percent increase in the crime rate and an overburdened criminal justice system," Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

Governor Burgum was impressed by the work.

"A great example of what collaboration can bring in a region to enhance public safety," said Burgum.

A collaboration that will continue for years to come.

Over the last few years, the police department has grown from four officers to 21. The Sheriff's Department has grown from four to 34.