Some law enforcement officials are upset with Governor Mark Dayton, alleging he didn’t inform them when their North Dakota counterparts asked for assistance during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Jim Franklin with the Minnesota Sheriffs Association says, “We must focus on the rule of law, not on the politically correct thing to do — what is the rule of law that we’re supposed to be following.” Governor Dayton says he “believed it would be unwise to send Minnesota law enforcement personnel into that highly-charged and very volatile political situation.” Franklin says a decision on responding to a request for mutual aid “should never be seen as political.” Dayton says he “wanted to prevent Minnesotans from being drawn into a political situation, not to create one.”
Franklin indicates a mutual-aid compact between various states might have to be re-done. He asks, “Are we to stand at the county line and watch them run into trouble in that particular state because our governor won’t allow us [to assist]? So we may have to then build a new system that bypasses the governor.” The governor cannot prohibit local law enforcement from assisting other jurisdictions, but Franklin says his actions under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact make that much more difficult.