Gallatin County Deputies May Not Help at Pipeline Protest

Sheriff expected to spend week at the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site

By Molly Priddy

BOZEMAN — Hours after the Gallatin County sheriff said he and four deputies would be helping to keep the peace during an ongoing oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, he said they might not because of a miscommunication over whether an agreement between the states meant their expenses would be covered.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin said Wednesday morning that he expected to spend about a week at the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that North Dakota requested help under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, an agreement among all 50 states that requires the governor and the Department of Emergency Services to approve any mutual aid.

The Montana Highway Patrol sent 10 troopers to help at the protest site last month. However the Chronicle reports the compact doesn’t authorize local law enforcement assistance.

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