INDIANAPOLIS -- Dozens of Indiana police officers and sheriff’s deputies have been deployed to North Dakota, where thousands of people are protesting the building of a 1,200-mile pipeline.
The team from Indiana includes 37 officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Brookville Police Department, Griffith Police Department, Hammond Police Department, Michigan City Police Department, Munster Police Department and Schererville Police Department.
Four Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies left on October 23 and return on November 7, according to MCSO spokesperson Katie Carlson. “The federal government pays for it through FEMA,” said Carlson.
More than 80 people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline were arrested Saturday during a demonstration where about 300 people gathered at a construction site in North Dakota and prompted law enforcement officers to use pepper spray.
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John Erickson, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, also said there is no cost for Indiana taxpayer.
“Professionals of all types can be deployed to other states through what is called an EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) request,” said Erickson. “They are only deployed when another state provides a request. When other states need assistance, we in Indiana evaluate and send help if possible, based on if we have the resources that fit the request.”
Indiana is acting as a “team player,” as it helps North Dakota with security during the pipeline dispute.
“We do this because we may one day need help from another state. In the recent past, Indiana has sent a variety of public safety professionals at the request of other states, including emergency medical personnel, planners, public information officers, emergency management leadership, safety officers, liaison officers, etc,” said Erickson.