Dane County deputies assisting with protest in North Dakota

Published: Oct. 11, 2016 at 5:52 PM CDT
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MORTON COUNTY, ND (WMTV) --- The protests over the North Dakota pipeline have been going on for about two months, and during that time, law enforcement in the area of Morton County have been on their own. Now, local agencies are helping them out.

Dane County Sheriff's deputies have plenty of experience dealing with emotional and sensitive rallies. As Sheriff Dave Mahoney sends some of them out to North Dakota this week, he's confident they will represent the citizens of Dane County at the highest level.

As tension continues to rise over the pipeline access in North Dakota, those who are at the frontline of these protests are in need of assistance.

Morton County, North Dakota asked for help from law enforcement around the country. Because of protests here in Madison such as Act 10 and Tony Robinson, Dane County was a good candidate.

"We were able to successfully prevent mass arrests, damage to property, injury to people most importantly and allowed people to successfully gather to air grievances and to exercise their freedom of speech," Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says.

Now, ten Dane County deputies along with five other Wisconsin agencies are relieving North Dakota officers, who, before receiving any help, were standing a post for nearly 60 days.

"They're tired, they're stressed, and we've seen incidents all around this country where law enforcement officers in highly stressed situations have done things that in hindsight should not have been done," Sheriff Mahoney explains.

After receiving some backlash, Sheriff Mahoney assures community members that everything, the overtime, the food that they eat, even the cost of gas to get there, will be reimbursed to Dane County.

"I'm very concerned about the potential financial impact to Dane County citizens, and that's why as part of the contract that was signed," he says. "All costs, right down to the mileage of the vehicle, has to be reimbursed by the state of North Dakota and there's an agreement to do that."

More than 120 people have been arrested since August for involvement in these protests.

The ten deputies are expected to return to Dane County on Sunday, October 16.

Copyright 2016: WMTV