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As Bakken Oil Booms, Police Prepare for Change

KGVO State-Wide & Regional News
KGVO State-Wide & Regional News
BILLLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Booming oil production in the Northern Plains is spurring law enforcement from the U.S. and Canada to gird for a spike in crimes ranging from drug trafficking to prostitution.

Officials say up to 30,000 workers could descend on the Bakken oil fields of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan in the next few years.

The recent kidnapping and brutal murder of Sidney, Mont. teacher Sherry Arnold has drawn more attention to the changes brought on by the rapid pace of drilling.

In the wake of the killing, federal prosecutors are holding a two-day retreat beginning Monday for law enforcement to craft a common strategy to deal with rising crime.

The boom could last another decade or more as companies tap into a reserve estimated to hold more than 4 billion barrels of crude.

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