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Grand Forks County sheriff sending deputies to protest site

The Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office sent deputies to Morton County on Monday to help its sheriff deal with a growing pipeline protest that has attracted thousands of activists from across the country.

The Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office sent deputies to Morton County on Monday to help its sheriff deal with a growing pipeline protest that has attracted thousands of activists from across the country.

The Morton County Sheriff's Office has requested assistance from departments statewide to come to the protest near Cannon Ball, N.D., according to a news release from Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost. He will continue to send two deputies at a time for one-week rotations at the site south of Bismarck.

The deputies have been working 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. shifts this week and will return to Grand Forks after their final shift ends 6 a.m. Friday, Rost said. Two more deputies are scheduled to head down to the protests Sunday.

Between 2,000 and 4,000 people are estimated to have joined demonstrations by members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run just north of the tribe's reservation. The size of the protest has concerned state officials, who say it poses a threat to public safety.

Rost said it was important for state law enforcement agencies to help each other since similar incidents could happen anywhere in the state.

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"Anything you do, you're always concerned," Rost said of his deputies' safety, "but it seems like they're handling it pretty well down there."

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