Hoeven Hosts FBI Director for Meeting with Tribal Leaders, Helps Dedicate New FBI Office in Williston

Senator Worked to Pass Native American Foster Care Bill into Law, Establish Permanent FBI Presence in Western ND, Continues Efforts to Enhance Public Safety in the Region

NEW TOWN, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today hosted Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey in North Dakota for a meeting with leaders from the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation to discuss law enforcement challenges on the reservation. Following the meeting, the senator, congressional delegation and Director Comey dedicated the FBI’s new resident agent office in Williston. This is the fifth FBI office in North Dakota and the first resident agent office to open in more than 20 years. The office’s agents will help local law enforcement in western North Dakota, including the Three Affiliated Tribes Police Department, to better address increased crime rates and combat drug and human trafficking.

“Our local law enforcement officials do tremendous work in protecting our communities, and they deserve our gratitude and support,” Hoeven said. “This permanent FBI office is part of our efforts to ensure that our officers and other officials have the tools they need to combat serious crimes and help all of us feel secure in our homes and businesses. I thank Director Comey for working with us to bring these experienced agents to the region. We continue working across the federal government to advance our state’s priorities and ensure our high quality of life.”

Hoeven announced the new office in November of 2014 after urging Director Comey to establish a permanent presence in western North Dakota. The senator followed up on these efforts by hosting meetings with state and local law enforcement officials to address the challenges they face in the region, as well as the need for federal agents to work in collaboration with local officials.

Hoeven was instrumental in securing approval for the field office, which required signoff by both the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which he serves, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Further, the senator’s office worked as a liaison between agency officials and Williston developers to secure a suitable site and hosted FBI staff on a tour of the city in 2014. Hoeven continues, through annual appropriations bills, to support programs and funding that enhance local law enforcement’s ability to protect communities and prevent crime.

At the same time, Hoeven has been working to implement greater protections for Native American children placed by tribal courts into the tribal foster care system. The Native American Children’s Safety Act, which Hoeven authored, has passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives and was signed into law by the president last week. This legislation requires background checks to be conducted on all adults living in a potential foster home before a tribal court may place a child in that home.