Sheriff addresses protest
By Daniel Arens
As our state enters a new year, some of the issues and controversies of the previous year must continue to be addressed. Throughout 2016, a primary issues that has confronted North Dakota was the large protest movement that arose in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the passing of that pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Last year also saw Mercer County become involved, specifically as law enforcement from the county would travel to the protest site to help Morton County law enforcement and other agencies manage the protest area.
Dean Danzeisen, Mercer County Sheriff, spoke with the county commissioners about the role that county law enforcement has played in handling the protests. He noted that there has been little Mercer County involvement recently at the site.
Currently, a major concern for those monitoring the area is the possibility of spring flooding. Many of the protest sites are located within the floodplain, and temporary living quarters for people may not stand up to floods.
Danzeisen encouraged commissioners to take a ride with him if they have an opportunity and see the setup and organization which is in place to handle the issue.
Commissioner Dwight Berger asked about the sheriff department’s policy related to people who want to carry over paid time off from one year to another. Danzeisen replied that the answer depends on whether the person in question was kept from taking time off by a supervisor or whether the person simply didn’t use time off even though they had the opportunity to do so.