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Study aims to break stereo-type of Western North Dakota - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Study aims to break stereo-type of Western North Dakota

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More people. More problems.

It's the situation playing out in western North Dakota as more and more people head west to take part in the oil boom.

Dr. Carol Archbold took the trip 5 different times throughout the last year with 2 NDSU students, Thowald Dahle and Rachel Jordan.

"We interviewed 100 deputies, across 8 agencies, in 4 cities right in the bakken," says Dr. Archbold.

They were working on a study about how the increased population has increased the crime.

"We learned some interesting things," says Dr. Archbold.

She says people think violent crime has surged but that's not the case.

"What has surged is property crime and dui's," says Dr. Archbold.

And that's exactly what the latest crime statistics show.

"People refer to it as the Wild Wild West. It's become busy and more crowded because of the population," says Dr. Archbold.

And that's put long term residents on edge.

"It's not what there use to. It use to be Mayberry but now it's not," says Dr. Archbold.

But although it may not be Mayberry, it's not the Wild Wild West, according to Archbold.

"We want go give an accurate snapshot of what's going on out there. It needs to be based on research base and not word of mouth," says Dr. Archbold.

Archbold says she believes people are confusing the increase of dispatch calls coming in as crime related, but that's many times not the case. People call for all types of reasons-- anything from directions to barking dogs.

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