During the 2011 North Dakota Legislative Session members of the West Fargo Police Department are actively involved in monitoring and making recommendations to our local legislative leaders. Police personnel review the proposed language of the bills and assess how a change may affect our ability to serve the public. We will also request sponsorship of our own proposals of bill drafts we believe are necessary to provide for a safer community.
Several of the bills this year involve the treatment of mental illness and chemical dependency. SB2166 would allow agencies to contract with treatment centers outside of North Dakota for the treatment of mental illness or chemical dependency. Currently an alcohol treatment center exists in Moorhead but is not available due to the cross border restrictions.
HB1395 establishes a voucher payment program to allow people seeking treatment to access additional facilities and providers. This is a pilot program with the requirement a report be made during the 2013 legislative session on the program's effectiveness.
Some bills deal directly with law enforcement operations. HB1251 allows for law enforcement agencies to enter agreements to share officers during times of emergency or when events require additional staffing. Additional officers could be borrowed to cover peaks in demand and provide for the continuation of services.
Certain changes are considered house keeping bills. The language of the existing law needs minor fixes to make it more clearly understood. HB1173 would add the words headlamps and tail lamps to the current statute to better define which lamps must be lit during darkness and inclement weather.
The local senators and representatives have been extremely busy in Bismarck. They are always open to hear your opinion on those things that matter to you. You can be involved and follow the legislative action at http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/62-2011/leginfo/bills-res-jour/index.html