Written by Jeff Tucker
Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford announced a new initiative at a recent meeting of the county commissioners to require courthouse visitors to obtain identification cards.
Crawford made the announcement at the June 29 meeting of the commissioners, when the body discussed the sheriff’s request to purchase an identification card making machine.
Crawford was asked about the intended purpose of the ID card machine.
“I’m going to use it for a couple things,” Crawford said. “The biggest issue is concealed weapons’ permits.”
Crawford said the sheriff office’s current ID machine is archaic.
He said a new ID machine would also be used for identification cards for all county employees, for sex and violent offenders and for visitors to the
Roosevelt County Courthouse.
The newspaper questioned the constitutional grounds of requiring visitors to the courthouse, including media representatives, to obtain identification cards beforehand.
Crawford said the courthouse visitor identification cards would be utilized “for big court proceedings upstairs.”
“And make it a little safer for everyone,” he said.
Gary Macdonald, presiding officer of the commissioners, said county employees need county ID cards to get governmental rates at hotels and motels while traveling on official business.
The commissioners voted 2-0 to purchase a $4,925 identification card making machine from Mountainland Business Systems of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Crawford said Fort Peck tribal entities would pay for about half of the ID making machine.
In other business at their June 29 meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved a resolution transferring $10,273 from the county building department funds to the public safety fund for the purchase of two metal doors and frames for the Roosevelt County Detention Center.
The commissioners approved a resolution transferring $56,735 from the severance tax investment fund to the airport fund.
The resolution states the transfer to the airport fund is necessary to reimburse Wolf Point for the 2.5 percent share of the county’s expenses for recent improvements at L.M. Clayton Airport in Wolf Point.
The commissioners approved a one-year $63,000 contract, beginning July 1, with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to provide a contractor “to address the public health crisis caused by the use of all forms of commercial tobacco products in Montana.”
The contract comes in the wake of the retirement of Theresa Nichols-
Schuster as regional program coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Northeast Montana.
The commissioners voted 2-0 to table a request from fire warden Steve Harada to keep the fire vehicle rotation for one extra year, while raising the county’s contribution to the Wolf Point, Bainville, Culbertson, Froid and Poplar fire departments from $21,500 to $24,500 for the purchase of new equipment.
Commissioner Duane Nygaard said he had some questions about the request.
The commissioners approved a $200 contract with McCone County for the use of the Deadman’s Butte communications site.
“They said that’s all they could afford to pay,” said Commissioner Jim Shanks.
In personnel matters, the commissioners approved hiring Jasmine Azure of Wolf Point as a 911 dispatcher, effective June 26.
The commissioners said the Fort Peck Tribes/Roosevelt County 911 Dispatch Center was fully staffed upon the hiring of Azure, with 10 dispatchers and a supervisor.