FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Are Boulevards being used?

  • Boulevards have been designated as snow storage. In areas with boulevards, the windrow will be pushed over the curb onto the boulevard.
  • Sections of streets that do not have driveways on both sides may have all snow windrowed to the side without driveways

Can I have a green license plate light?

No, according to North Dakota Century Code 39-21-26(2), you cannot have a lamp or device that displays a green or red light that is visible from the front of the vehicle. The Codes does not, however, make mention to similar lights on the back of the vehicle.

Can I have an officer run a license plate?

No, State and Federal regulations prohibit officers/dispatch from using the computer to retrieve information not related to investigative purposes, and the information can only be shared with law enforcement entities.

Can I make a police report over the phone or does a police officer have to come to my house?

You may wish to make a report over the phone. However, we feel that visiting with you in person greatly enhances our relationship with you.

Can I pay my traffic/criminal fines online?

Online payments are coming soon to Dickinson Municipal Court. The public will be notified when this option becomes available through http://publicsearch.ndcourts.gov/default.aspx Call 701-456-7770 to pay over the phone, or stop in person at City Hall.

Can I pay with a credit/debit card?

Absolutely! Municipal Court accepts credit/debit cards at City Hall or over the phone. 701-456-7770 

Can you shoot off fireworks within the city limits?

No. Unfortunately, firework use in the city is prohibited, with the exception of the city-sanctioned professional fireworks display on the 4th of July at the old DSU Rodeo Grounds. “Fireworks” include anything that is to be lit, including (but not limited to) bottle rockets, fire crackers, and sparklers. Party poppers and snaps are allowed.
You may use fireworks outside the city limits in the county. However, if the fire index is elevated to a level which prohibits such use, officials will notify the public that a burn/fireworks ban is in place.
Discharging fireworks within city limits is considered an “infraction”, with a fine of $150.
For more information about firework safety, visit the Dickinson Fire Department’s website at Dickinson Fire
The current Rangeland Fire Index can be found by Clicking Here

Do officers have to show me their radar reading when I get pulled over for speeding?

No, state law does not require the officer to show you the radar reading. Partially, this is due to the safety of you and the officer. Officers generally don’t bring people back to the squad car unless necessary.

Does Dickinson have a teen curfew law? If so, what is it?

Dickinson does have a curfew law. Curfew on Sunday-Thursday nights is 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Friday and Saturday night curfew is 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM. If a juvenile works past curfew, he/she is allowed to travel directly home from work. Otherwise, juveniles are cited into juvenile court for curfew violations. This may result in fines, community service, or other forms of judgments at the discretion of the juvenile judge. Parents may also be cited into municipal court for frequent curfew violations by the juvenile.

How can I help?

  • Keep vehicles off the streets until after plows have gone by. (The City is not responsible for damages to vehicles on the roadway)
  • Limit yourself to essential travel only.
  • Slow Down and allow extra time for travel/commute.
  • Give snow removal equipment space (Stay at least 50 feet back)
  • Please be patient and understand that crews are doing their best.
  • In the event of a True Emergency, call 911.
  • Remember – Every storm is different. We do our best to adapt accordingly.

How can I report a vehicle left on the street for a long period of time?

Call the Police Department non-emergency number at 701-456-7759, and advise the dispatcher of the location and description of the vehicle. An officer will check the vehicle to determine whether or not it can be legally on the street. If it is not legal, it will be tagged as an overparked motor vehicle and scheduled for removal within 48 hours of being tagged.

How can I report narcotics activity in my neighborhood?

Any suspected narcotics activity, no matter how insignificant, is encouraged to be reported by contacting our non-emergency number at 701-456-7759. You may also submit a text tip by visiting the Badlands Crimestoppers page in the Crime Prevention menu above.

How do I contact the Police Department?

In an emergency, dial 911. This number applies for police, fire, or ambulance. For all non-emergency calls requiring police assistance, call 701-456-7759.

How do I get information about the jail?

The Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center (SWMCCC) is a regional detention facility for southwestern North Dakota. The facility is located on the east section of the Law Enforcement Center and is open for visitation by appointment. The facility also handles booking, processing, and bonding/bail procedures for the Dickinson Police Department. To schedule visitation, inquire about bond/bail procedures, or for more detailed information, contact the SWMCCC Coordinator at 701-456-7790.

How do I get updates on Snow Emergencies or Winter Updates?

You can download the Dickinson Works App to get updates sent directly to your phone!

     

In addition, you can follow the City of Dickinson Facebook Page for updates

How do I maintain my sidewalk?

Residential

  • Sidewalks must be cleared within 72 hours after the snow stops falling. Ice melt or sand must be spread on any icy patches within the same time period
  • Snow may be piled onto your yard, the boulevard, or in the parking lane of the street if there is no other place to put it.
  • If possible, wait until the street has been plowed before cleaning out the end of the driveway.
  • If possible, place snow on the opposite side of the driveway from which the snow plow is coming. This will allow the plow to carry snow away from the driveway rather than back into it.

Commercial

  • Sidewalks must be cleared within 72 hours after the snow stops falling. Ice melt or sand must be spread on any icy patches within the same time period
  • A business that has no room on the property – with the street on one side and a building on the other side – may put snow in the parking lane or alley way only if these conditions are present.

How do I protect my mailbox?

  • Reduced visibility and slippery conditions make it difficult for operators to see objects in time to avoid striking them.
  • Help reduce the possibility of broken or damaged property including mailbox posts with the following suggestions:
    • Owners are encouraged to put mailboxes at the furthest distance back from the paved surface, within the Postal Service guidelines.
    • Reflectors are useful and should be mounted to be visible from all approaches.
    • Check mailbox posts periodically for deterioration or rot to reduce the possibility of their being broken off simply by the weight of the plowed snow.

How many officers are in the Department?

The Department currently has 43 sworn officers and 21 civilian employee.

How many points was that ticket? Am I suspended?

Click here for the points schedule for ND. If you’d like to check the status of your ND Driver’s License, click here

How will I find my car if it has been towed?

Please call the Non-Emergency Police Department number at 701-456-7759. They will direct you to your vehicle. Available 24/7.

I have a warrant?!?!

Unfortunately, if you fail to appear at the date/time specified on your citation(s) or summons, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. This can also happen if you fail to follow conditions set at an Order to Show Cause, Review, or Warrant hearing. Check the Public Record Search to see if you have a warrant. Contact the Clerk’s office to see what you can do! 701-456-7770

I need to have fingerprints taken. Where can I get this done?

The Police Department offers fingerprinting for city residents by appointment only. Non-residents and out-of-city county residents are directed to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

I received a traffic ticket and I don’t think it is fair. What can I do?

If you received a traffic ticket and you feel that it was issued in error, we encourage you to set up an administrative hearing before a judge. To do this, you must sign and date your copy of the citation in the section “Request for Hearing”. You must still post the bond/fine amount within 12 days of the issuance of the ticket. Your bond/fine may be reduced/dismissed if the judge rules in your favor.

I received a traffic ticket, where do I pay?

You may either mail the ticket via postal mail by using the envelope you were given during the traffic stop. You may also pay the fine in person by going to City Hall (99 2 ST E) during normal business hours. The reverse side of the ticket will have information regarding payment and instructions on requesting an administrative hearing if you desire.

I saw an officer “bust” an intersection with his lights and siren only to turn them off when he/she got down the road. What was he doing?

Sometimes an officer responding to an emergency call is cancelled and this is why he/she may appear to be using his/her lights to get through an intersection. Officers sometimes are also required to turn off lights and sirens when approaching an address where a “stealth” approach is necessary.

I would like to ride along with a police officer. How do I sign up?

Residents who want to ride along with a police officer may obtain a ride along application from the police department. Once it is completed and turned in at the Police Department, an officer will contact you to set up a date and time for this worthwhile experience.

If I have a complaint against an officer, what should I do?

The Department is committed to maintaining a professional force; and in this regard if anyone has a complaint concerning an officer’s actions, he/she is encouraged to speak with a Shift Supervisor about the incident. No one should feel that any sort of retaliation will come as a result of complaint. The department will diligently investigate the complaint and implement corrective measures if they are warranted.

If you lost your bike, is there a place you can go to look for your lost/stolen bike?

Our dispatch keeps a log of any stolen/missing bikes reported to the department. That way, if officers come across an abandoned bike, we can get it back to the owner. Therefore, if you have a missing/stolen bike, please contact the department and report it as such.
If we cannot find the owner, the bike is placed into our impound, located at the old Public Works Building on West Broadway. If you want to look at the impounded bikes to see if one may be yours, contact our dispatch and they will send an officer to meet you at the building.
The best way to prevent bike theft is to keep your bikes secured with a lock or by placing them in a locked building. Moreover, we urge citizens to purchase city bike licenses. These greatly help officers locate the owner of the bike, as we have a list of the license numbers on file at the department. The licenses can be purchased for a small fee at City Hall during normal business hours.

Is it true that police officers can’t pull you over after following you for more than 6 blocks?

No, there is no such limit. In some cases, an officer may be following you because they are observing your driving–and it may take several blocks or miles before they determine if a traffic stop is necessary . Of course, in many instances, it’s likely you’re not being followed at all. The officer may simply be going in the same general direction you are!

Should I report suspicious activity in my neighborhood?

Yes, the Police Department depends on citizens calling to report crimes or suspicious activity. No matter how insignificant the suspicious activity may seem, we encourage you to call in. Dispatch will ask questions about the suspicious activity to determine its nature and ask for descriptions of the people involved. Please call 701-456-7759 to report suspicious activity. You may remain anonymous!

What are the window tint laws in North Dakota?

The front windshield of your vehicle must have a light transmittance of atleast 75% (30% tint) and other windows of atleast 50% (50% tint). All windows behind the operator are exempt from this law, provided the vehicle is equipped with outside mirrors. This law is partially in effect for motorist safety (ability to see if the other driver is looking at you), and for officer safety.

What are those plows doing?

  • If you see a snow plow driving away with its blade up, it is most likely leaving for repairs or refueling. It will return as soon as possible!
  • In order to maintain even wear on cutting edges, plow operators may travel against the flow of traffic. They will refrain from this practice on major thoroughfares if possible.
  • Plow Operators may also travel against the flow of traffic in order to move snow to one side. If this is necessary, they will allow traffic to pass them, either by stopping until traffic has passed, or by moving the plow out of the traffic lane until traffic is passed.

What can I do about barking dogs in my neighborhood? How can I report animals running loose in my neighborhood?

To report incidents involving animals, call the non-emergency number at 701-456-7759. Animal owners are usually given a written warning for the first barking/running offense of their animal. Subsequent offenses may result in a $50.00 fine.

What can I do about my noisy neighbors?

While the noise is occurring, call the non-emergency number 701-456-7759. If officers can hear the noise/music upon arrival, they can take enforcement action. Usually, the tenant-in-violation is given a written warning for the first offense and a court summons (B-Misdemeanor criminal offense) for subsequent offenses. If you live in rental property and the noise is an ongoing problem, you may consider contacting your landlord and informing him/her of the situation.

What happens to my bond?

In Municipal Court, only cash bonds are accepted, and guarantee your appearance in Court. Failure to appear will result in any bond being forfeited to the Court. If you wish your bond to be returned to the bond remitter, you must discuss this with the Judge in Court. Unless otherwise specified, your bond will be applied to your fines/fees upon entry of a plea of guilty.

What if I can’t come to Court?

While it is YOUR responsibility to make travel and/or child-care arrangements prior to your court date, we do understand that emergencies happen. Call us if you aren’t able to appear. The Judge usually will allow ONE reschedule, but there are exceptions to this rule! Never assume! 701-456-7770

What if I can’t pay my fines this month?

The Dickinson Municipal Court prides itself on working with our Defendants to make their fine payments. Communication is key! Call us if you can’t make your regular payment, or need to update your address. This may prevent you from having a warrant issued for your arrest! 701-456-7770

What if I have an out-of-state Driver’s License and I get a ticket in ND?

Any citation related to your driving privileges will be on record with both the ND Department of Transportation and the licensing authority in your state. Since laws vary from state to state, we always recommend contacting both authorities. Click here for the NDDOT Frequently Asked Questions page.

What if I park on a Snow Emergency Route?

  • During a snow Emergency, any cars parked on any Snow Emergency Route is open to citation and/or towing at the owners expense.
  • Download the DickinsonWorks app (SEE “How do I get updates on Snow Emergencies or Winter Updates?” above.) to get notifications when Snow Emergencies are declared so you can move your car and avoid citation and/or towing!

What if I’m ordered to do a Chemical Dependency Evaluation and I live or am working out of state?

Call the local courthouse in your area for a list of locations. Remember, the evaluation must be given by a CERTIFIED ADDICTION COUNSELOR. Ask them to email the completion to citycourt [at] dickinsongov.com & the ND DOT at drs [at] nd.gov. The ND DOT requires you to follow any recommended treatment for eligibility to reinstate your driver’s license, and failure to do so may cause even more problems if you’re licensed in another state. 

What if my friend/family member is in jail and can’t post bond?

Municipal Court holds bond hearings daily, as needed, by video. Times can vary based on a number of factors, so if you’re unsure, call us. The outcome of the hearing is also based on a number of factors, so never assume your friend or family member will be released the same day. 701-456-7770 

You may also contact the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center at 701-456-7790.

What is the 24/7 Program?

The 24/7 program was developed by the Attorney General’s office as a response to repeat offenders of alcohol-related crimes. The entire state adopted the 24/7 program in 2008, and Dickinson has been participating in it ever since.
The main use for our 24/7 program is to monitor individuals who have been convicted of their 2nd DUI offense and are out on unsupervised probation. They are required to come to the LEC twice a day and submit a breath sample. If their breath registers any amount of alcohol, or if they fail to show up for testing, they are immediately taken into custody. The individual must pay $2/day for the tests to help offset the cost of the program. The Stark County Sheriff’s Department administers the tests.
The program is also used for individuals on parole & probation, and those out on bond for a domestic assault or other crimes where alcohol was involved. Statewide, the statistics are that 98% of the participants successfully complete the program, meaning they are not drinking (and driving) and not reoffending. For more information, visit the Attorney General’s website about 24/7

When is my court date?

Municipal Court is in session every Thursday beginning at 8:30 am. If Thursday is a government-recognized holiday, Court will NOT be in session. The easiest way to check when you have court is to search your name on the Public Record Search. If you’re having trouble finding your information, give us a call and we would be happy to assist you! 701-456-7770 

Where is Snow Hauled from?

Snow may be hauled from certain streets. Generally, the snow is windrowed to the center of the roadway, but depending on circumstances, may be windrowed to the curbs temporarily, and then pulled to the center when crews are available to haul the snow.

Where is the Police Department located?

2475 State Avenue North. From Exit 59, take 30th Avenue West north to 21st Street West and travel east. The PSC is located near the intersection of State Avenue and 21st Street West. From Exit 61, travel north on 3rd Avenue West to 21st Street West. Turn west onto 21st Street West until reaching State Avenue.

Who is responsible for removing snow from sidewalks? Are there penalties for non-compliance?

  • This is the responsibility of the property owner, as stated in Dickinson City Code Section 33.04.290
  • The city is not responsible for removing snow on sidewalks or driveways
  • Penalties and Fines can be enforced for non-compliant snow removal.

Who/What is allowed in the Courtroom?

  • In most cases, only the Defendant is allowed in the courtroom. The exception to this rule is a parent/guardian for a Juvenile, or a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability, i.e. interpreter or case worker. We do not allow congregating in the lobby area of City Hall. 
  • Children under age 14 are not allowed in the courtroom. Make childcare arrangements before your court date! 
  • No hats are to be worn. 
  • Cellphones must be turned off. 
  • No food or beverages are allowed. 
  • No weapons of any kind are allowed in the building.
  • You must pass through security before entering the courtroom. 
  • You must remain professional and courteous throughout Court proceedings, or you may be held in Contempt of Court.

Why aren’t officers catching “real” criminals, instead of writing tickets?

It is the policy of the department to enforce all of the laws of the State of North Dakota, and by doing such, the department is committed to effective traffic enforcement to reduce accidents, apprehend drunk drivers, and to ensure a high degree of safety on Dickinson’s roadways.

Why can’t officers resolve or intervene in a civil matter?

Officers generally do not actively get involved in civil disputes as they are not empowered by state statute to do so. These incidents are best dealt with by contacting an attorney or the courthouse. However, do not hesitate to call for an officer in any situation, as he/she will recommend some options available to you.

Why do I see officers speeding all over the place?

The Department Policies are specific about an officer’s driving habits, and forbids any violation of speed that is not related to police duties. Officers are allowed, as set by statute and Department Policy, to exceed at times, the speed limit only as it relates directly to a police call.

Why do officers shine so many lights when they stop a vehicle?

Officers are trained to utilize lighting techniques to illuminate a vehicle for the safety of themselves and the occupants of the vehicle, and it is not meant to be something that is annoying or a form of harassment.

Why do they ask so many questions when I call the police?

Police dispatchers are trained to get as much information as possible in order to determine the nature of the problem and its seriousness. The information you provide will further enhance your safety and that of the police officers responding to the call.