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Ohio troopers return after assisting North Dakota

By MARC KOVAC Dix Capital Bureau Published: November 20, 2016 12:00 AM

Columbus -- State troopers who traveled to North Dakota to assist law enforcement there dealing with protests of a proposed pipeline project have returned to the state.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Robert G. Sellers, the 37 Ohio troopers completed their work on Nov. 13, left North Dakota on Nov, 14 and arrived back in Ohio on Nov. 15.

The return date was planned, he said.

The group left the state on Oct. 29, in marked Ohio patrol cars, and worked a total of 14 days, with four days for travel, Sellers said in a released statement.

The state of North Dakota will cover their salaries while they were in that state.

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"Our troopers provided support for the people of North Dakota and our law enforcement partners," Sellers said in the statement. "They worked along the side of our law enforcement partners to protect the rights of everyone involved."

Last month, a Democratic state lawmaker and others criticized Gov. John Kasich for sending the troopers out of state, saying they could instead have assisted Ohio communities battling the heroin epidemic.

Sellers countered in a statement last month, "Law enforcement agencies from across the nation offered a helping hand to Ohio this summer as we worked to maintain safety at the Republican National Convention The troopers were enlisted from across the state to maintain service to our state and communities."

The troopers' return came the same day that a protester chained himself to a minivan at a busy intersection outside the Statehouse in downtown Columbus in a display of opposition to the North Dakota pipeline project.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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