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Sheriff pleased with WE Fest law enforcement effort this year

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon says he is pleased with law enforcement efforts at WE Fest this year.

He estimated that more than 60,000 people attended the country music festival each day of the three-day event.

"On our end, from a law enforcement point of view, I'd call it a success," he said. "We had more people and fewer arrests (than last year). We only had 13 lock-ups to go through today," he said Monday. Most of those arrested over the course of the festival were released after they had sobered up in jail, he said.

In all, 87 people were arrested, but "a lot of it was misdemeanor stuff," he said. "Just about everything we dealt with involved intoxication -- that was the root of the problem."

The sheriff's office booked 87 people into jail for crimes such as assault, underage drinking, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Troopers busted 35 people for drunken driving, and Gordon said his department cited eight people for DWI. The sheriff's department is also investigating two reports of sexual assault.

Traffic flowed relatively well at the festival, thanks to modifications in departure routes, he said. After the music finished each night, Shuttle buses to campgrounds, and into Detroit Lakes, were able to get their routes completed in a little over an hour, as opposed to two or three hours in the past, thanks to changes made in traffic flow, Gordon said.

"Our biggest concern going into this was traffic, especially with the road construction on Highway 10 and Highway 59. We were looking at huge numbers of campers and a big influx of single-day eventers. But traffic went real well."

The weather also cooperated for WE Fest's 25th anniversary.

"The weather is always an issue," Gordon said. "It was conducive this year -- there were no rainstorms, thunderstorms or high winds to worry about."