A November 28 Associated Press (AP) report indicates “transient workers” taking part in Wyoming’s oil boom are contributing to a surge in crime–including violent crime–throughout the region.
According to the AP, “Emergency calls are up 9 percent from last year.” Drug-related arrests are also up, as there were 37 in 2009 and 64 in 2013. “Aggravated assault and larceny are up 17 percent in the Douglas area since 2009,” as well.
Douglas Police Sergeant Matthew Schmidt said the bottom line is that “the industry is not picky” when filling laborer roles in the oil fields. “They need people who can physically stand the job,” he said, “so they’re not concerned about their conviction records.”
Schmidt said many of the “transient workers” he arrests already have convictions “ranging from a fourth domestic battery to multiple DUI arrests.”
He summed up the situation by pointing out that workers who know they are going to be in the fields for an extended period of time act better than others. “They’re decent,” he said. But those who are just passing through have “no reason … to have a stake in [the] community.”
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