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Wisconsin sending deputies to help with Dakota Access protest

BISMARCK - Wisconsin is sending up to 40 sheriff's deputies to North Dakota to help local authorities responding to protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Morton County Sheriff's Department said Friday, Oct. 7.

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Larimie County (Wyo.) Sheriff Danny Glick, left, answers questions during a press conference at the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, back far left, has requested support from the National Sheriffs Association if needed during the continuing Dakota Access Pipeline protests. MIKE MCCLEARY / BISMARCK TRIBUNE

BISMARCK – Wisconsin is sending up to 40 sheriff’s deputies to North Dakota to help local authorities responding to protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said Friday, Oct. 7.

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier requested the additional manpower from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national mutual aid agreement that allows for sharing of resources across state lines during emergencies and disasters.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple approved the request.

The Wisconsin deputies will come from Dane County -- home to Madison, the state capital -- and the surrounding region. They will provide assistance for up to 21-day rotations, a news release stated.

Kirchmeier said the Wisconsin deputies’ extensive experience with large-scale demonstrations “will allow for their seamless integration with our current mission of ensuring the safety and security in Morton County” and provide the manpower needed to respond to multiple protest locations. Protesters temporarily halted construction at more than half a dozen construction sites near St. Anthony on Wednesday and Thursday.

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An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 American Indians and other pipeline opponents are encamped just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in southern Morton County as the tribe’s lawsuit plays out against the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline being built from North Dakota to Illinois.

Authorities have arrested 96 people on charges including criminal trespass and reckless endangerment since protest activities began to ramp up on Aug. 10.

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