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How Many Law Enforcement Agencies Does It Take to Subdue a Peaceful Protest?

Police at Standing Rock
Police at Standing Rock
Thomas Dresslar,
Media Relations Associate,
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November 30, 2016

Earlier this month, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department briefed the public via Facebook on the scope of law enforcement presence that was helping confront protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock.

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The help was made possible by a bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton about 20 years ago, which created an interstate agreement for emergency management. The agreement helped bring law enforcement agents to North Dakota to the site of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protests at Standing Rock, and the Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, represent some of the only times the compact has been invoked outside of a natural disaster.

The ACLU assembled the names of law enforcement agencies below from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and from media accounts. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the cities and counties in North Dakota that sent officers as well as the 10 states that contributed, and where there was a news story about a particular force, we included a hyperlink. Where there was mention of the number of officers deployed, we noted that as a minimum — though more may have been deployed later.

Tweet by Morton County Sheriff's Department

North Dakota:

1. North Dakota Highway Patrol

2. North Dakota National Guard

3. North Dakota Parks & Recreation

4. North Dakota Department of Emergency Services

5. North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Parole and Probation


6. Beulah Police Department

7. City of Bismarck Police Department

8. Dickinson City

9. City of Fargo Police Department (50 officers)

10. Hazen City

11. Jamestown City

12. City of Mandan Police Department

13. Minot City

14. Steele PD

15. Grand Forks City

16. Williston City

17. Rolla City

18. West Fargo City

19. Wishek City

20. Watford City

21. Grafton City


22. Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department

23. Cass County Sheriff’s Department

24. Dunn County

25. Emmons County

26. McKenzie County

27. McLean County

28. Mercer County Sheriff’s Department

29. Morton County

30. Stark County

31. Stutsman County

32. Ward County

33. Williams County Sheriff’s Department

34. Grand Forks County

35. Divide County

36. Kidder County

37. Grant County

38. Bowman County

39. Benson County

40. Burke County

41. McIntosh County

42. Barnes County

43. Bottineau County

44. Logan County

45. Trail County


46. St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Department


47. Montana Highway Patrol (at least 10 officers)


48. Wisconsin State Patrol (at least 17 officers)

49. Dane County Sheriff’s Department (at least 10 officers)

50. Dane County Special Events Team (at least 3 supervisors)

51. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department (at least 4 officers)

52. Rock County Sheriff’s Department (at least 5 officers)

53. Marathon County Sheriff’s Department (at least 4 officers)


54. Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department (at least 29 personnel)

55. Anoka County Sheriff’s Department (at least 6 personnel)

56. Washington County Sheriff’s Department (at least 5 personnel)

South Dakota:

57. South Dakota Highway Patrol

58. Pennington County Sheriff’s Department (12 officers)

59. South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation (3 agents)


60. Wyoming Highway Patrol (at least 6 officers)

61. Laramie County Sheriff’s Department


62. Nebraska State Patrol (at least 11 officers)


63. Lake County Sheriff’s Department

64. Schererville Police Department

65. Hammond Police Department

66. Griffith Police Department

67. Michigan City Police Department

68. Munster Police Department

69. Indiana Department of Natural Resources

70. Marion County Sheriff’s Department

71. Brookville Police Department

72. Porter County

73. LaPorte County

74. Jasper County

75. Newton County


76. Ohio State Highway Patrol (at least 37 officers)

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