It is the mission of the Ward County Sheriff’s Department to serve all people within our jurisdiction with respect, fairness and compassion. We are committed to the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; the vigorous enforcement of local, State, and Federal laws; and the defense of the Constitution of the State of North Dakota and the Constitution of the United States of America in a fair and impartial manner.
We are committed to serving our county and communities to enhance the quality of life and nurture public trust by holding ourselves to the highest standards of performance and ethics. Our deputies are determined to serve as a deterrent to crime, develop relationships with community groups, residential and business organizations, and promote an environment receptive to tourism, visitors, and residents and to support historic preservation in our county. Additionally, we are dedicated to our personnel by providing continuous training and educational development, as well as career enhancement opportunities. The Ward County Sheriff’s Department has and shall continue to provide service of the highest quality to its community and foster community partnerships in crime prevention.
Ward County Sheriff
Ward County Jail
The Ward County Jail under the directions of the Sheriff is responsible for the Care, Custody and Control of those individuals placed in the facility. The legal obligation is to provide a safe, sanitary and secure place of detention for all persons incarcerated in the Ward County Jail. The jail must protect the community by incarcerating persons who, as determined by a court/s of law, pose a threat to the safety and/or property of the general public.
It is the goal of the Ward County Jail staff to return inmates to the community in no worse condition than when they were committed to our custody. We shall strive to return inmates to the community in better emotional and physical condition, while encouraging convicted offenders not to repeat their criminal activity.
Ward County Jail Commander
The Ward County Veterans Service Office is responsible for assisting veterans, widows of veterans, children or other eligible relatives of veterans in making claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. These benefits include, but are not limited to, applications for service-connected compensation, pensions, medical care, education, home loan guarantees and burial benefits. This office also advises veterans and refers them to the appropriate professional people to alleviate their problems. We administer an emergency aid fund for veterans and can refer them to area aid organizations for assistance. The VSO attends Veterans Organizations meetings and participates in veterans’ functions. The VSO also accomplishes home and hospital visits to assist impaired veterans and accepts speaking engagements for the purpose of informing people of benefits due them as a veteran or dependent of a veteran.
Ward County Veterans Service Officer
The County Auditor/Treasurer was an elected position until April of 2003 when it became an appointed position under the Ward County Home Rule Charter. The County Auditor serves as the Chief financial officer of the County, responsible for budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll.
Other duties assigned to the Auditor are:
The County Treasurer serves as custodian of all County funds. The Treasurer is also responsible to collect all property taxes certified by the Auditor, and distribute those funds to taxing subdivisions. Investment of the Counties funds with secure sources, earning the highest possible interest rate is also the responsibility of the Treasurer.
Ward County Auditor/Treasurer
The purpose of the Ward County Extension Service Office is to create learning partnerships that help adults and youth enhance their lives and communities.
We achieve our purpose and vision through diverse programs and partnerships that extend research, technology and knowledge to many audiences. Program priorities include farm, family, and community economics; 4-H youth development; competitiveness and profitability of animal production; human development; competitiveness and profitability of crop production; and nutrition, food safety, and health.
County Extension Agent
It is the purpose of the Ward County Public Library to provide the residents of Ward County and any county with which we have a contractual agreement with a timely, comprehensive, reliable, and easily accessible collection of library materials in a variety of medial form. Ward County Public Library also offers interlibrary loan service, reference and research help, children’s programming and internet accessibility.
Ward County Library Director
The Ward County Superintendent of School’s office serves all public and private schools in our county as well as staff, school board members, patrons and students. I also work with the Department of Public Instruction, the Ward County States Attorney, and the Attorney General’s office in Bismarck.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is a legal requirement for the position along with a valid teacher’s certificate.
The functions and duties of this office are varied depending on the time of the year. All duties required by the ND Century School Code are completed. The Ward County Spelling Bee and Ward County Mathcounts competition are coordinated in this office.
Annexation hearings are conducted and arranged here. This involves considerable time meeting with the petitioners, completing the required documents, arranging and holding the hearings in Minot. I provide complete records for and attend follow-up hearings in Bismarck.
Assistance is also given to all schools regarding their elections, budgets, supplies, pupil membership, transportation and business manager reports, bus driver workshops, and bus inspections. An annual report of financial and other pertinent data is prepared for all schools, and their board members. Faculty and school board directories are prepared and distributed. The distribution formula for state oil and gas payments is prepared for the Auditor’s office. Meetings are planned for Ward County Administrators. I provide birth affidavits using pupil membership records as a resource for those seeking Social Security or other benefits.
Supt. of Schools
The County Recorders office keeps the listings for all Ward County Real Estate. All deeds, mortgages, etc. effecting real estate in the county are recorded in this office. All new plat additions are on record in the office. These records establish the ownership of property, generate the tax rolls done in the Auditors office as well as generate the assessment records. The city and county auditors and assessors receive the information from this office to do their splits and assessments for tax purposes. The abstractors, banks, attorneys generate their title information from these records when doing Title Commitments, granting loans, creating new abstracts or writing Title Insurance. The documents on record are where the surveyors gather the information they need in doing surveys and preparing new additions in Ward County.
The County Recorders office also handles personal property records, namely Uniform Commercial Code filings. These records are kept in a statewide computer system hooked through the Secretary of States office.
In 2001, the County Recorders office took over the marriage and death records, the safekeeping of wills and passport acceptances previously handled by the Clerk of District Court.
Effective August 1, 2001 the title of the office was officially changed from Register of Deeds to County Recorder.
On January 1, 2003 the previously elected position was changed to an appointed position under the Ward County Home Rule Charter.
The Ward County State’s Attorney is elected for a four-year term and serves as the attorney for the county. The duties of the office include prosecution of crimes committed against the State in this county, to present evidence in juvenile court proceedings when requested, assist petitioners in involuntary commitment proceedings, and act as legal counsel to county boards and commissions.The Ward County State’s Attorney is elected for a four-year term and serves as the attorney for the county. The duties of the office include prosecution of crimes committed against the State in this county, to present evidence in juvenile court proceedings when requested, assist petitioners in involuntary commitment proceedings, and act as legal counsel to county boards and commissions.
By way of contract, the Ward County State’s Attorney’s duties also include heading up the Regional Child Support Office and prosecuting crimes and offenses that are violations of Minot’s City ordinances.
John Van Grinsven III
Ward County State’s Attorney
The Child Support Enforcement Program is authorized and defined by statute, Title IV of the Social Security Act. The mission of the North Dakota Child Support Program is to secure financial support from legally responsible parents so that families and children receive support so that the demand on public treasuries is reduced. While the Region II Child Support Program is contracted through the Ward County State's Attorney's office, Region II provides support to seven counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward.
Larry Van Ness
Region II Administrator
The Ward County Highway Department is charged with the responsibility to construct, maintain, and operate the county road system as designated and selected by the Board of County Commissioners. A County Highway Engineer is employed at the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners with the powers and duties as per North Dakota Century Code.
Ward County Highway Engineer
The Director of Tax Equalization office provides property tax assessing services to local jurisdictions, which have relinquished that authority to the county or have failed to elect or appoint an assessor. Administration of the mobile home tax law is required by state law, which includes valuation of the home, levying the tax, and collection of delinquent accounts. This department provides training and assistance to local assessors. Answer questions from the public regarding property tax valuation and investigates and provides recommendations to the County Commissioners on equalization of property valuations.
The duties of the Building Inspector includes issuing building permits, inspections on new construction to insure compliance with zoning regulations and building codes. The day to day administrative duties for the County Planning Commission, and does the administration of the flood plain zoning management.
Dir. of Tax Equalization
Ward County Social Services is a County administered State supervised agency that is responsible for the delivery of economic assistance and social service programs to the citizens of Ward County as required by federal and state law. The Food Stamp, Medicaid and Training Education, Employment and Management (TEEM) programs are examples of economic assistance programs. Protective Services, Foster Care, Early Childhood (Day Care) Licensing and Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled are examples of social service programs. Service and administration costs are shared among federal, state and local governments. The agency is administered under the direction of the Ward County Social Service Board, which is appointed by the Ward County Commissioners.Ward County Social Services is a County administered State supervised agency that is responsible for the delivery of economic assistance and social service programs to the citizens of Ward County as required by federal and state law. The Food Stamp, Medicaid and Training Education, Employment and Management (TEEM) programs are examples of economic assistance programs. Protective Services, Foster Care, Early Childhood (Day Care) Licensing and Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled are examples of social service programs. Service and administration costs are shared among federal, state and local governments. The agency is administered under the direction of the Ward County Social Service Board, which is appointed by the Ward County Commissioners.
Director of Social Services
The Ward County Juvenile Detention Center was opened on June 1, 1999. The Juvenile Detention Administrator reports directly to the Ward County Commissioners. The Detention Center is located within the Ward County Jail. The North Dakota Jail Inspector has deemed our facility a Class II Facility, which means juveniles can be held in our facility for a period of no longer than ninety days. The Detention Center has three rooms and six bunks and is designed to hold juveniles from twelve-seventeen years of age.
The legal obligation of Ward County is to provide a safe, sanitary and secure place of detention for all juveniles committed to the Ward County Juvenile Detention Center. It is the goal of the Ward County Juvenile Detention Center to return juveniles to the community in no worse condition than when they were committed to our custody. We shall strive to return juveniles to the community in better emotional and physical condition, while encouraging adjudicated juveniles not to repeat their criminal activity.
Ward County Juvenile Detention Administrator
The Ward County Building Service’s department is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of buildings and grounds for the Courthouse, Jail and Library.
The duties of the Building Supervisor include maintaining County records of all utilities, contracts, equipment repair and provide recommendations to the Ward County Commissioners on buildings and grounds projects.
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