Fewer speeding tickets given out last year as understaffing issue persists for Grand Forks Police Department

The GFPD has been in the hiring process for a while now, attempting to bring staff numbers back up to 98 sworn officers. The staffing issue is regional, if not nationwide.

Grand Forks police logo tower graphic sign .jpg
A Grand Forks Police Department squad car, pictured at an incident in April 2021. Grand Forks Herald photo.

GRAND FORKS – Local speeding tickets saw a significant decline in 2022, which could be a positive, but a lieutenant at the Grand Forks Police Department attributes the drop in part to staffing issues.

The GFPD issued more than 1,000 speeding citations annually for a number of years, according to the department's 2022 annual report. There was a significant jump in citations from 2020 (1,165) to 2021 (1,756).

However, in 2022 the department issued 588 speeding citations – a 66.5% drop.

According to Lt. Andrew Stein, “part of that was a staffing issue.”

“We just haven’t had as many officers out on the road,” Stein said.


Stein said “a vast majority” of law enforcement agencies are hiring across North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and in parts of Iowa.

The GFPD has been in the hiring process for a while now, attempting to bring up staff numbers. According to Stein, the department is authorized to have 98 sworn officers; at present, there are 92.

Additionally, calls for service increased in 2022, which means the GFPD responded to more calls with fewer officers available. From 2021 to 2022, the number of calls for service increased 1.2%, from 53,776 to 54,397.

Stein said the department has seen an increase in calls for service “all the way back to 2018,” and he expects the trend to continue.

The trend is “certainly regional” and “probably nationwide,” according to Stein.

Calls for service aren’t necessarily crime-related. They include “anything that an officer would get dispatched to,” Stein said. One example would be if someone needs assistance when their car breaks down in the winter.

Calls for service also include information submitted on the GFPD’s website or tip line.

Another contributing factor to the decrease in speeding tickets is new software the GFPD implemented in 2022. The GFPD’s crime analyst worked with the operations and administrative divisions “to identify criminal trends and patterns” and to develop strategies to address them, Stein said in a message to the Herald.


With the software, citations are tracked more accurately.

“It was kind of the perfect storm of calls for service are up, staffing is down and we got a new way to track [citations],” Stein said.

Another notable drop outlined in the GFPD’s 2022 annual report was noisy party citations. There were 134 in 2021 and 46 in 2022, which is a 65.7% decrease. There is no obvious reason for the drop, though.

“Ultimately, there hasn’t been any recent changes to the noisy party ordinance,” Stein said.

The annual report also showed significantly more vehicle crashes in January and December.

“Weather is usually a big factor in that,” Stein said.

In January of 2022, there were nearly 150 reportable crashes and nearly 125 non-reportable crashes. For a crash to be reportable, there either has to be property damage over $4,000, or any sustained injury. In December, there were almost 125 reportable crashes and just over 150 non-reportable crashes.

“That winter IQ driving takes a little while to set in,” said Stein. “... Especially if we aren’t eased into it. So, if we get that late October-early November blizzard instead of just a dusting, then usually we’ll see some spikes in crash reports.”


Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022.

Kelly covers public safety, including local crime and the courts system.

Readers can reach Kelly at (701) 780-1102 or
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