Behavioral health remains an issue for western North Dakotans and first responders. In June alone, Dickinson Police officers responded to approximately three calls a day for behavioral health.

Lt. Mike Hanel reported on the Dickinson Police Department’s monthly statistics and analysis of the various calls for service to the Dickinson City Commission during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, July 20, at City Hall. On the behavioral health side, the DPD responded to 99 total calls, including 78 welfare checks, 12 mental health incidents, six intoxicated subjects and three suicidal threats.

Knowing that the total calls for behavioral health totaled at 100 incidents in May, Hanel said that those responses “occupy a significant portion of the patrol function.”

“... In many of these last several iterations of meetings, we’ve been trying to establish just the scope of the behavioral health situation that we’re facing here in southwest North Dakota,” Hanel said, adding, “Our numbers continue to reflect that that is a big large share of our responses.”

The department’s criminal investigative division received three call outs — which is a little lower than usual, Hanel noted. However, criminal investigators were instrumental in their efforts with the June 15 incident that involved two escaped inmates from the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center.

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“Our intel analyst was actually able to get some pretty fresh intelligence right out of the gate as that event began unfolding and (it) was pivotal to (allow us) to apprehend the inmates within about three hours of them escaping. So it was a really good success story for June,” Hanel remarked.

Of the 2,198 calls for service Dickinson Police officers responded to in June, the top five included incidents of suspicious person/vehicle (97), speaking with an officer (96), welfare checks (78), theft and auto (58) and paper service/warrant service attempts (53).

The DPD was just shy of 400 traffic stops in June at 399 incidents, with 88 citations and 185 warnings. The top cited traffic violations were speeding, driving without liability insurance, care requirement, failure to register motor vehicle and failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

Hanel added that the department is continuing its community outreach with its “Off the Cuff - With Dickinson PD” podcast that can be listened via iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay, Amazon Music or on the Buzzsprout website.