Bozeman MT- Due to public outcry over a decision to send deputies to support North Dakota law enforcement and the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin has reversed his decision.
In an on-line post Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin announced his decision to not send deputies to North Dakota.
“Yesterday I had made a decision to send Deputies to the protest in North Dakota to help with that volatile situation. I have been in protest situations in my career and fully understand that in many cases law enforcement is placed in the middle of two emotional opposing interests and we have to attempt to balance our role as peace officer and law enforcement. Many of you emailed and called the Office to voice your concerns. As your Sheriff I was very humbled by the honest conversations we had. Although my actions were well intentioned you made it clear that you do not want your Sheriff’s Office involved in this conflict. One of the biggest differences of an elected Sheriff from other law enforcement leaders is that I am directly accountable to the people I serve (YOU) and although I am personally torn knowing that people (Including Montanans) are hurting over there, we will not be responding. Finally I am incredibly grateful that we live in a place where we can have differences and talk about them respectfully as adults without conflict. Thank you.
Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin”
Since August, numerous police departments have sent officers to assist in the suppression of water protectors seeking to stop the Dakota Access pipeline.
Posted by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)