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Archives - State Agencies - Criminal Investigation, Bureau of

Criminal Investigation, Bureau of
[Authorized: NDCC Chapter 12-60]

A state Superintendent of Criminal Identification was appointed in 1929 by the Governor George Shafer for a two-year term. Duties were to effectively provide for the collection, filing, and preservation of criminal records. The legislature required the Superintendent to cooperate with the Criminal Bureau of the US Department of Justice and aid statewide judges, state's attorneys, sheriffs, and others. The Superintendent had an office at the State Penitentiary in Bismarck (S. L. 1929. Ch. 116). In 1931 the Legislature expanded the role of the Superintendent by providing two assistant superintendents and other employees (S. L. 1931, Ch. 134). Along with the creation of a State Superintendent of Criminal Identification in 1933 the Warden at the North Dakota State Penitentiary served as Superintendent. Legislation established and defined the powers of the office (S. L. 1933, Ch. 102).

In 1963 the duties of office of the Superintendent of Criminal Identification were transferred from the State Warden to the Attorney General. Legislation amended and reenacted [NDCC 12-58-01; NDCC 12-58-02; NDCC 12-58-07; & NDCC 12-58-08] and [NDCC 54-12-01] of the Century Code concerning a bureau of state government (S. L. 1963, Ch. 123). A 1965 legislative act created the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension. Legislation specified the organization, duties, and responsibilities of the Bureau. A Board of Managers governed the Bureau and terms of office and duties of the Board were established. Legislation also included duties of the Attorney General as a member of the Board including specific appointment powers.

The Board of Managers of the Bureau consisted of four members, the Attorney General, and three members appointed by the Governor. Appointed members included the chief of police for a city, a sheriff, and a state's attorney.  All appointments were two year terms and the Governor filled all Board vacancies by appointment. The Board of Managers had responsibility to advise the Attorney General and the Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension with respect to the operation and conduct of the Bureau. The Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension with the approval of the Attorney General was responsible for the rules and regulations under the Administrative Practices Act [NDCC 28-32]. The Bureau was to work and cooperate with the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training as established in the 1963 Supplement to the Century Code [NDCC 54-50-02] and in other related fields as the Commission and the Bureau deemed feasible. Additionally the Bureau acted as a consumer fraud bureau [NDCC 54-12] in cooperation with other agencies in the detection, investigation, and enforcement of laws and regulations. Legislation also required that the Bureau be responsible for consumer education and investigation and litigation concerning matters of consumer fraud (S. L. 1965, Ch.111).

New legislation in 1967 concerned the selection of a Board of Managers, the terms of office, the duty of the Board, the duties of the Attorney General, appointment of the employees by the Attorney General, the powers and duties of the Bureau and certain employees, and all functions and duties as specified (S. L. 1967, Ch. 116). The Bureau was to act as a Consumer Fraud Bureau in cooperation with other agencies to detect, investigate, and enforce laws and regulations with regard to consumer fraud.

In 1971 the North Dakota State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension was renamed the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. It remained under the authority of the Attorney General (S. L. 1971, Ch. 140). Legislation repealed the Board of Managers and the duties of the Board (S.L. 1971, Ch. 141). The Bureau in cooperation with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies established an operating system of criminal identification and apprehension to assist other law officers in the investigation of crimes. The Bureau also conducted police training schools, maintained identification files on individuals convicted of issuing bad checks, assisted in licensing, and consumer fraud investigations (S. L. 1971, Ch. 141).

In 1973 the Legislature permitted the Attorney General in consultation with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to establish a scientific laboratory [NDCC 12-60-21] in order to better assist in the investigation or detection of crimes and the apprehension or prosecution of criminals. BCI operated as a division of the State Laboratories Department (S. L. 1973, Ch. 115). Other legislation in 1973 involved the police schools [NDCC 12-60-07] and concerned the powers and duties of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (S. L. 1973 Ch. 114) for the purpose of assisting and conducting police schools for training peace officers and concerning powers and duties by using approved methods for detection, identification, and apprehension of criminals. Legislation required peace officers to attend the police schools.  Also the Legislative Assembly gave authority to the Attorney General to establish a scientific laboratory and to specify the functions and duties of the laboratory including the facilities and technical personnel. The Attorney General could upon request make available to an official the facilities and personnel to assist in the investigation or detection of a crime and in the apprehension or prosecution of criminals at the request of a state's attorney, sheriff, chief of police or other local, state or federal law enforcement official.

The Bureau became the central repository for collection, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history information and the Attorney General as the Superintendent of the BCI had responsibility to establish rules and regulations and to appoint the chief, special agents, and other employees as specified in the Century Code (S. L. 1987, Ch. 162). Powers and duties of the Bureau included cooperating and assisting the Criminal Bureau of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC and other similar federal and state departments by establishing and carrying out a complete system of criminal identification. This also included cooperating with and assisting all judges, state's attorneys, sheriffs, chiefs of police, and all other law enforcement officers.

Legislation in 1995 authorized the Bureau to maintain a registry of all protection and restraining orders (S. L. 1995, Ch. 113) and to cooperate in establishing an automated regional system for a fingerprint identification system (S. L. 1995, Ch. 123). As a division within the office of the Attorney General the Bureau was organized into five sections including criminal, narcotics, training, grant management, and criminal justice information service. It had responsibility for conducting criminal and narcotics investigations, training criminal justice personnel, maintaining the licenses of peace officers, and administering federal grant funds for the criminal justice program. Powers, duties, and functions were enumerated and included cooperating with federal, other states, and North Dakota entities, and establishing, cooperating, and carrying out a complete system of criminal identification.  The system was designed for the apprehension, arrest, conviction, and detention of all persons believed to be guilty of criminal acts. The licensing department was to assist trained peace officers in their powers and duties by aiding in detecting and apprehending persons illegally possessing or disposing of drugs. Legislation also required the Bureau to maintain a registry of protection and restraining orders and to maintain a registry of all orders for which it received notice [NDCC 11-15-32] and [NDCC 14-07.1-03].

In 2003 legislation repealed the state crime laboratory and the provision of laboratory facilities and technical personnel (S. L. 2003, Ch. 469). A new division [NDCC 54-12] under the supervision of the Attorney General was created as the state crime laboratory division consisting of a director, the state toxicologist, and other personnel appointed by the Attorney General. Legislation required that the state crime laboratory division be administratively separated from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation with the director serving at the pleasure of the Attorney General.

Legislation in 2009 directed the Bureau to create and maintain a statewide file on lost, missing, or runaway children to allow an immediate response by law enforcement. Relative to lost, missing, or runaway children legislation required the Bureau to implement a data exchange system, establish contacts, and exchange information with the National Crime Information Center, and compile and maintain an historic repository (S. L. 2009, Ch. 124).Because of the population increase due to the energy boom legislation allowed agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the drug enforcement unit to be compensated for overtime hours (S. L. 2009, Ch. 125). A new section [NDCC 54-12] Century Code was created regarding a criminal justice data information sharing system with the Attorney General and maintaining the system within the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Only an authorized individual employed by a criminal justice agency as defined in the Code [NDCC 12-60-16.1] could access the information. Other state agencies included the Department of Transportation, State Court, and the Department of Emergency Services as well as any other individual approved by the Attorney General. The Chief of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation was appointed the Chairman of the Advisory Board. (S. L. 2015, Ch. 37). The Century Code [NDCC 54.12.32] identified BCI as the activating agency for a BLUE Alert and BCI, “in cooperation with the Highway Patrol and the Division of State Radio of the Department of Emergency Services had responsibility to prepare an operational plan for activation of a blue alert notice.” (S. L. 2015, Ch. 376). A new section to [NDCC 39-03] of the Century Code was created concerning the SILVER Alert Notice System concerning missing vulnerable elderly adults and minors with developmental disabilities. Cooperating agencies included the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Division of State Radio of the Department of Emergency Services (S. L. 2017, Ch. 259).

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation works with all North Dakota judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement to establish a system of criminal identification. The Bureau serves as the state repository for criminal history record information and maintains and publishes an annual crime report. It conducts or schedules training of all types for law enforcement in North Dakota and is responsible for conducting criminal and narcotics investigations, for training criminal justice personnel, for maintaining training and licensing records for peace officers, for administrating federal grant funds for criminal justice programs, and for maintaining criminal justice information systems.  According to the website for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is the state's central repository for criminal history information, a system that compiles records of arrests and prosecutions of individual offenders for use by law enforcement, the courts, and the public. The criminal history information is submitted to BCI by local law enforcement agencies, state's attorneys, the courts, parole and probation, and others.

 CHRONOLOGY

1929       A state Superintendent of Criminal Identification was appointed by the Governor for a two-year term (S. L. 1929. Ch. 116).

1931       Legislation expanded the role of the Superintendent (S. L. 1931, Ch. 134).

1933       The State Superintendent of Criminal Identification was created (S. L. 1933, Ch. 102).

1963       The responsibility of Office of the Superintendent of Criminal Identification was transferred from the State Warden to the Attorney General (S. L. 1963, Ch. 123) as well as the management of the Bureau and serving as President of the Board of Managers.   

1965       A legislative act created a bureau of state government and was designated as the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension. The organization, duties, and responsibilities were specified. Legislation also provided for a Consumer Fraud Bureau. The Superintendent of the Bureau with the approval of the Attorney General had responsibility for the rules and regulations (S. L. 1965, Ch.111) and for the prevention of consumer fraud and unlawful credit practices (S. L. 1965, Ch. 332).

1967       Changes concerned the powers and duties [NDCC 12-60-07] of the Bureau of Criminal Identification (S. L. 1967, Ch. 116) and legislation provided for a Combined Law Enforcement Council and prescribed the duties of the Council (S. L. 1967, Ch. 117).   

1969       The Superintendent of the Bureau continued to serve as a member for North Dakota Combined Law Enforcement Council (S. L. 1969, Ch. 146).

1971       The North Dakota State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Apprehension was renamed the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Legislation repealed the Board of Managers [NDCC 12-60-02] and the duties of the Board (S. L. 1971, Ch. 141). BCI was assigned to the Office of the Attorney General (S. L. 1971, Ch. 140). 

1973       Legislation permitted the Attorney General to establish a scientific laboratory [NDCC 12-60-21] as a part of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (S. L. 1973, Ch. 115).

1975       Legislation regarding major criminal statute revisions (S. L. 1975, Ch. 106, § 673) repealed a subsection of the Century Code [NDCC 12-60-14].

1981       Legislation added a criminal justice training and statistics division within the Office of Attorney General and established powers and duties of the division including creating a Peace Officer Training and Standards Board and training and certificating of peace officers, local correctional officers, and sheriffs. Also included were responsibilities in training state's attorneys and defense attorneys and providing for rulemaking power and appeals procedure. A new section was added to the Century Code [NDCC 39-03] relating to the provision of training at the Law Enforcement Training Center and a repeal [NDCC 12-61] of the statute relating to the Combined Law Enforcement Council (S. L. 1981, Ch. 154).

1983       The Attorney General became the Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (S. L. 1983, Ch. 556) and a consumer fraud and anti-trust division was created replacing BCI as the Consumer Fraud Bureau (S. L. 1983, Ch. 556).

1987       Legislation made significant changes to the activities of the Bureau and the relationship with federal, national, and local offices by making the Bureau the central repository for collection, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history information and requiring the Bureau to coordinate and work with other agencies (S. L. 1987, Ch. 162).

1995       The Legislature authorized the Bureau to maintain a registry of all protection and restraining orders, to set up an automated fingerprint identification system, and cooperate with other states in the operation of a regional system (S. L. 1995, Ch. 113 and Ch. 123).

2002       In August of 2002 Governor John Hoeven signed an executive order making the AMBER Alert a statewide program under the North Dakota Highway Patrol [Executive Order 2002-06].

2003       Legislation repealed the state crime laboratory and the provision for laboratory facilities and technical personnel (S. L. 2003, Ch. 469).  

2005       Legislation made changes to criminal history checks conducted by the Bureau or the FBI specifically for a permit, license, employment, or an adoption (S. L. 2005, Ch 111). It also amended numerous sections of the Century Code relating to the state toxicologist and the state crime laboratory (S. L. 2005, Ch. 195).

2007       Legislation related to Bureau changes from those requesting criminal history fitness checks (S. L. 2007, Ch. 115). Requirements were established for disseminating criminal history record information to parties other than those authorized by the Code [NDCC 12-60-16.6]. 

2009       Legislation approved of agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the drug enforcement unit being compensated for overtime due to increased enforcement activity in the “oil boom” population (S. L. 2009, Ch. 125). Other legislation defined benefits of a retirement plan relating to peace officers employed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (S. L. 2009, Ch. 512).

2011       Vehicle emergency lights were added to vehicles operated by BCI (S. L. 2011, Ch. 266).

2015       A new section [NDCC 54-12] added to the Century Code was created and concerned a criminal justice data information sharing system (S. L. 2015, Ch. 37).  BCI activated the BLUE Alert in cooperation with the Highway Patrol and the Division of State Radio of the Department of Emergency Services (S. L. 2015, Ch. 376).

2017       A new section to [NDCC 39-03] of the Century Code concerned the SILVER Alert Notice System relating to missing vulnerable elderly adults or minors with developmental disabilities (S. L. 2017, Ch. 259). Legislation concerned criminal history record checks specifically for the Early Childhood Services (S. L. 2017, Ch. 348), Board of Chiropractic Examiners (S. L. 2017, Ch. 286), Department of Commerce (S. L. 2017, Ch. 94), State Court Administrator (S. L. 2017, Ch. 94), Job Service (S. L. 2017, Ch. 95), Medicaid Services (S. L. 2017, Ch. 246), Board of Nursing (S. L. 2017, Ch. 287 and Ch. 288), Physical Therapist (S. L. 2017, Ch. 96), and Tax Commissioner (S. L. 2017, Ch. 409).

SOURCES

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Website.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws. 

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