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


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.

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.

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.  Pennington County Sheriff’s Department (12 officers)

25.  Dunn County

26.  Emmons County

27.  McKenzie County

28.  McLean County

29.  Mercer County Sheriff’s Department

30.  Morton County

31.  Stark County

32.  Stutsman County

33.  Ward County

34.  Williams County Sheriff’s Department

35.  Grand Forks County

36.  Divide County

37.  Kidder County

38.  Grant County

39.  Bowman County

40.  Benson County

41.  Burke County

42.  McIntosh County

43.  Barnes County

44.  Bottineau County

45.  Logan County

46.  Trail County


47.  St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Department


48.  Montana Highway Patrol (at least 10 officers)


49.  Wisconsin State Patrol (at least 17 officers)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

South Dakota:

58.  South Dakota Highway Patrol


59.  Wyoming Highway Patrol (at least 6 officers)

60.  Laramie County Sheriff’s Department


61.  Nebraska State Patrol (at least 11 officers)


62.  Lake County Sheriff’s Department

63.  Schererville Police Department

64.  Hammond Police Department

65.  Griffith Police Department

66.  Michigan City Police Department

67.  Munster Police Department

68.  Indiana Department of Natural Resources

69.  Marion County Sheriff’s Department

70.  Brookville Police Department

71.  Porter County

72.  LaPorte County

73.  Jasper County

74.  Newton County


  1. komarov says

    Rebels have to be dealt with harshly, any uprising crushed swiftly and without mercy, so you send as many legions as you can muster. It’s an important message to the populace: shut up, pay your taxes and bow to the emperor.
    They’ll probably send more legionnaires law enforcement officers just as soon as the paperwork (and hollow justification) goes through.

    This is far worse than any natural disaster or even barbarian hordes massing at the border.

  2. says

    Wow, it’s cop-a-palooza for all the ancient tribes of pigs.

    This has got to be tearing a great big hole in ND’s law enforcement budget. I guess that’s the little thread of silver lining.

  3. says

    Think what they’d need for an unpeaceful protest. Tanks and gunships and everything.

    Too bad the special forces guys are over in Syria helping the “rebels” there instead of being “rebels” in ND. Maybe some of them will eventually figure out that they are on the wrong side.

  4. says

    Chigau, you should see the monster mobile command stations they have. And monster humvees.


    I guess that’s the little thread of silver lining.

    I’m afraid it isn’t. Kirchmeier just got handed another 5 million to deal with us savages.Because y’know, the first 10 million wasn’t enough. Damn Indians.

  5. rq says

    Serving and protecting their own communities, I see. Any word on more officers turning in their badges? No? What an astonishing lack of conscience.

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