Belle Fourche has seen an increase of traffic due to the North Dakota oil boom. Because of that, new South Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers were added to that area.
Highway Patrol Trooper, Trey Bedford, just started his job as part of the Northern Plains Squad, which covers Butte County all the way up to the North Dakota line. And he says he has already noticed some heavy traffic.
"This is my first week actively working this area. There is a lot of traffic, out of state plates, out of state oil traffic definitely needed for some more attention up here," said Bedford.
Recently eight recruits graduated and joined the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Sergeant Desmond Watson says he is glad some are now working in Belle Fourche.
"We just stationed two new troopers here in Belle Fourche to address the oil field traffic that frequents highway 85," said Sergeant Watson.
Sergeant Watson says there used to be one trooper but now there will be three troopers and a sergeant.
"We've had a significant increase in traffic due to the oil boom in North Dakota. So the additional man power here is definitely going to help out addressing the additional traffic, crashes criminal activity that come with that," said Sergeant Watson.
Trooper Bedford says the more presence, the better.
"We are just trying to be out here and make a difference and make ourselves known up here," said Bedford.
And Sergeant Watson says due to the large coverage area the news troopers will be a great asset.
"They are going to put on a lot of miles and be instrumental in our mission for our agency," said Sergeant Watson.
The new troopers were members of Class 54. They went to the South Dakota Highway Patrol Recruit Academy, and they completed field and law enforcement training. The whole process to become a trooper is about one year.