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Letter: Knaus-Parr uniformed about attorney general’s role in ND

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Ah, youth! Kiara Knaus-Parr’s letter typifies how Gen Y Democrats “spin” in lieu of experience. A lawyer who has only been practicing since Sept. 24, 2010, qualifies as a chief law enforcement officer? Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has been practicing law since 1977 — longer than Kiara has been alive.

North Dakota is a wonderful place to live. At age 56, I’m in a better position to comment because I moved my family here from Missouri, a state controlled by ivory tower intellectuals. Lots of theories about crime, but no real world solutions.

First, please get your facts straight! North Dakota’s population increased 7.6 percent. Assuming your party in D.C. can count. Must be new to math. Second, I’ve been a prosecutor since 1986. Crime always comes down to two things — power or money. Out here in the West, it’s the money. Over three decades as drug czar, I know that where there’s money, there’s drugs, particularly methamphetamine, and violent crime. Unlike you, this ain’t my first trip to the rodeo.

Third, I’ve never met Wayne Stenehjem. But I did testify last fall down in Bismarck for Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker’s and our office’s grant request. And, Wayne and his staff got us over $1 million we sent east to your side of the state back to us to get a victim-witness advocate, boots on the street, Kevlar, training and equipment. Actually do something about the crime wave! And, out here, our crime makes yours pale in comparison. And, the same, tired 1990s “grip of addiction” rhetoric? Really? How about statistics about the success rate of the treatment programs of which you seem so fond? We (who actually put our lives on the line) don’t have the luxury of pontificating about crime and addiction. We’re in the trenches dealing with it.

There’s a saying in special warfare: “A man with experience is never at the mercy of one with an opinion.” I don’t know Stenehjem personally, but I do look forward to meeting him, particularly if I become our county’s state’s attorney this fall. It’s easy to claim “he didn’t see this crime wave coming,” or “It’s about holding him accountable.” But, what about the self obviously, “Where were you during the last four years?” Your website says practicing criminal law — defending the people you now want to put in jail.

Pat Merriman,

Dunn County assistant state’s attorney,

Killdeer

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