Morton County Commission Approves Emergency Declaration Issued over Protest

Law Enforcement Working Protest Could Cost Morton County $100,000 a week

By Alicia Ewen | aewen@kxnet.com

Published 08/22 2016 08:30PM

Updated 08/23 2016 11:36AM

It was in an out at the special county commission meeting Monday night. 
 
County Commissioners approved an Emergency Declaration issued because of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests.
It's to allow access to Emergency Funds so law enforcement from across the state can get paid for their overtime hours. 
"It's an incredible strain on law enforcement... The costs have been extraordinary," says Cody Schulz, County Commission Chairman.
 
Here's a look at some of the agencies helping out with the protests: 
9 county sheriff departments 
2 city PD departments
14 state agencies
5 federal agencies 
 
"When we have these people here we need to pay for their lodging and their meals when they come here," says Schulz.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier estimates it could cost the county around $100,000 a week at current staff. 
He says the large number of officers brought in have been necessary.
"If this is truly a peaceful, nonviolent, protest, it could be done with very few officers around the area. However we have tried that in occasions and our police lines have been compromised," says Kirchmeier. 
There were many people who showed up to the meeting tonight who wanted to speak out against the accused violence at the protests.
They were disappointed when they found out public comment was not allowed Monday. 
They will have to come out Tuesday night to speak their case. 
 
The Morton County Commission Meeting is set for 5:30 Tuesday night at the Courthouse. 
Public comments will be heard from 6:00-6:45.

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