Policing the New Wild West: North Dakota's Oil Boom Towns

Email a Friend
From and

North Dakota is on the frontier of the US energy boom with oil from the Bakken shale field. It's a source of environmental controversy, but it's also a cultural revolution for the state of North Dakota, where towns are exploding with people looking to make money off of the energy boom. 

A lot of young men ... with a lot of new money ... it's a recipe for some unruly times ... like a modern day gold rush.
So what’s it like in the wild west of North Dakota’s oil industry? 

An influx of young men with oil money to spend has created unruly environments in these modern "boom towns," and law enforcement can't keep up. In 2005, before the oil boom, the Williston Police Department in the Bakken region, received 4,000 calls all year. By 2011, that number had more than tripled to over 15,000 calls for service.

Sheriff Scott Busching of Williams County, North Dakota explains what it's like on the front lines of North Dakota’s booming oil industry.