Conrad honors success of High Plains Fugitive Task Force

Kent Conrad

FARGO – Authorities from North Dakota’s U.S. Marshals office and local law enforcement agencies are the latest recipients of Sen. Kent Conrad‘s “Yes We Can” Award.

Today in Fargo, Conrad honored the success of the Marshals Service’s High Plains Fugitive Task Force, which was formed in November as a collaborative effort to apprehend wanted violent offenders in North Dakota.

The Task Force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Marshals Service, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Probation and Parole Division of the North Dakota Department of Corrections.

Soon to be added to that list are the Grand Forks Police Department and Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota U.S. Marshal Paul Ward announced today.

Conrad praised the High Plains Fugitive Task Force as “emblematic” of the “Yes We Can” Award, which Conrad gives out infrequently to those demonstrating hard work, perseverance, a commitment to the community and outstanding accomplishment.

“All of us take pride in the fact that North Dakota may be one of the safest states in the Union, but we are not immune from crime completely,” Conrad said. “When a fugitive is on the lamb, the community is less safe.”

But, in the five months since its inception, the task force has cleared more than 340 warrants and apprehended more than 230 fugitives. Conrad said 90 percent of the warrants cleared were done so within 30 days of the task force starting its investigation.

“That is a remarkable record by any test,” Conrad said. “These numbers are proof of the hard work of the High Plains Fugitive Task Force – work they’re doing every day to make our communities safer.”

Conrad said the Task Force’s close work with local media to bring public attention to fugitives has contributed to its success.

In cooperation with the U.S. Marshals Service, The Forum began publishing a weekly profile in March that features an offender sought by the task force. Since then, three fugitives have been arrested as a result of being featured in The Forum’s “Fugitive Focus.”

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