MANDAN, N.D. - Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has announced new law enforcement tactics to handle Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations that aren't slowing down.
Thursday afternoon, Kirchmeier was joined by leaders in local enforcement as well as a Wyoming Sheriff. All of the officers potentially will play a part in the new approach.
The Western States Sheriffs' Association President Danny Glick says he's ready to round up officers from all across the country, if necessary, to assist Morton County.
Keeping the peace in Morton County has become a daily struggle for law enforcement - being outnumbered is a constant challenge. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier announced he's getting support from all over the country to help with Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
"When a law enforcement leader calls for assistance, we are all going to come. Same sentiment holds true with sheriffs across this nation," says Paul Laney, Cass County Sheriff.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney is serving as Kirchmeier's Operations Chief for the protests. Now, out of state officers may be called on as reinforcements.
"There's a lot of expertise out there across this nation with the sheriffs, and if they can in somehow bring their expertise and their resources here to assist the sheriff, that's what we need to do," says Danny Glick, Laramie County Sheriff, Western States Sheriffs' Association President.
Kirchmeier says the Sacred Stone Camp has expanded to more than 2,000 people. He says it takes a lot of manpower to control demonstrations that large.
"The protest has grown outside I think of what the intentions of the Standing Rock people wanted to occur. This was all about the water, and the pipeline, and the easement going under the core, not a pipeline being put out in the middle of the prairie," says Kirchmeier.
Protests Wednesday and Thursday occurred outside the 20-mile voluntary 'no construction zone' called for by federal authorities. Kirchmeier says maintaining public safety in Morton County is his number one priority, and now with the support from officers from other states, he hopes to accomplish that.
The Morton County Sheriff's Department says protests halted work at several Dakota Access construction sites Thursday, but it didn't stop altogether.