Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Crime increases in Bradford County

Towns see crime, carousing surge amid gas boom by MARC LEVY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a modern-day echo of the raucous Old West, small towns enjoying a boom in oil and gas drilling are seeing a sharp increase in drunken driving, bar fights and other hell-raising, blamed largely on an influx of young men who find themselves with lots of money in their pockets and nothing to do after they get off work.

Authorities in Pennsylvania and other states are quick to point out that the vast majority of workers streaming in are law-abiding. But they also say the drilling industry has brought with it a hard-working, hard-drinking, rough-and-tumble element that, in some places, threatens to overwhelm law enforcement.

Some police departments are trying to hire more officers but are hard-pressed to compete with the industry for applicants.

"On one hand, we need to count our blessings," said Sheriff Scott Busching of Williams County, N.D. "On the other hand, we need to see if we can control this so it isn't chickens one day and feathers the next. ... We have come to the point here where we're almost overwhelmed. It's very close."
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