Butte County makes a deal with other county jails to prepare for possible Keystone XL Pipeline protests

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV) - The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline plans to start construction this year.

Butte County doesn't have a jail so they use Meade County's jail as their main one. But now Butte is making a deal with Faulk County to prepare for possible Keystone XL Pipeline protests.

The Dakota Access Pipeline brought protesters from around the country to North Dakota - many traveled through Butte County and broke the law. Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere says civil disturbance cases increased about 25 percent during those protests. Since there is no jail in Butte county, it puts a strain on the county.

In case Keystone XL Pipeline protests start law enforcement is preparing their jails. Butte County signed a new contract with Faulk county to house possible inmates who may break the law while protesting the new pipeline.

Sheriff Lamphere says the lack of manpower available can make possible protests difficult to handle.

"You know I've got a large county geographically but I have a small amount of people working for me. So if we have an event in Butte County where it access through will be pulling on resources from neighboring agencies and the state, or whatever level we can get," says Sheriff Lamphere.

A part of the Keystone XL Pipeline plans to run through Meade County, which raises some concern for Sheriff Lamphere. Sheriff Lamphere says right now they don't foresee any possible protests getting out of hand.