By Brad Mosher
There is something about small towns, Dunn County Sheriff Gary Kuhn told members of the Halliday community Nov.7 when he spoke at the community dinner.
He was visiting the community to talk about a rise in local crime.
The biggest thing he stressed to the dozens of people who show up was being watchful and vigilant when it came to Halliday.
“That is one nice thing about a small town… everybody knows,” he said with a chuckle. “And everybody knows to call 9-1-1.
“If you see something not right, then it probably is not right. It doesn’t hurt for you to call and have us come out and check it out,” he said.
The sheriff said that he had been called about how to set up a neighborhood
watch program and how to prepare to keep the community safe.
“You know this town way better than I know it or my deputies know it. You live here. You see what is going on,” he said.
“If you see kids out after curfew or you see a bunch of kids driving around … report those things because we want to keep everyone safe.
“A big part of keeping a community safe is watching. We ask for your help and your support and we rely on that,” he explained.
“We, at the Dunn County Sheriffs Office, are going to try to work on being more accessible to the community. We will work on having deputies stop in and listen. A lot of times we can solve a lot of our problems as well,” he added.
The sheriff had a platform during the last election where he promised to develop closer ties to the communities throughout the county that he would serve. Since his election the sheriff has also developed closer ties to the schools in Halliday, Twin Butte and Killdeer along with hiring a school resource officer.
The sheriff also stressed communicating with friends and neighbors so that they would know when there is somebody going into a neighbor’s home who shouldn’t be there.
“We have a drug problem in the United States. I was in Washington (D.C.) about a month ago and talked with sheriffs from around the United States. We all share the same problem. It is a matter of what scale we have that problem. Everybody has drugs. Everybody has health problems. We are dealing with illegal immigrants.
“We all have to talk. We all have to work together to solve the problems.
“If you think people are dealing drugs, call us. If you think somebody is using drugs, call us. If you think your kid is taking drugs, make him take a drug test.
“I am sure all of you have been affected by this (drug abuse) in some way or another, whether it is friend or a family member,” the sheriff said.
“Drugs and alcohol are very hard to beat by yourself. You’ll need help … especially the kids. Parents don’t realize the kids are not just starting out with the weed anymore.
“They are using Meth. They are using Fentanyl. They recently had a fatal overdose in Dickinson. Fentanyl has become a big problem. It has also become a big problem for the first responders because it can kill us,” the sheriff explained.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but up to 100 times more potent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.