Terrible Display By Dakota Access Pipeline Security

Dogs!?! Who uses dogs on the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters?

Who’s idea was it to use attack dogs on protesters!?! I hope this was the statement coming from the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners Monday morning.
I’ve been closely following the security debacle on the Dakota Access Pipeline for weeks.

Later, when a colleague called to tell me what was going on out there on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and that the security contractors had actually used dogs against the protesters, I was shocked.

Who does that!?! Was the first question that came to mind. This isn’t the 1960’s where strike breakers come in with baseball bats and attack dogs to run off protesters. In modern protest security, an operation like this is very delicate and needs to be carried out in a calculated manner.

dakota access pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline security contractors clearly lack experience.

I watched the video of the contracted security personnel incredulously as I marveled at the most unprofessional and ineffectual display of protest security I have ever seen.

I’m not an expert in dog handling for law enforcement or security applications by any means, but I know what a professional use of K9 looks like and what it doesn’t. I also reached out to a colleague of mine who has training and experience in K9 use. He couldn’t believe that they would use clearly untrained dogs and handlers in a situation like the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

The next thing noticed was that these security personnel were in no kind of uniform to identify themselves. In some cases, there is a clear benefit to going “low profile”, but the cat was already out of the bag here. The protesters and everyone else following the Dakota Access Pipeline protest were well aware that security was present. So getting non-uniformed security personnel intermixed with protesters in a poorly executed attempt to control a protest, was a recipe for disaster. How would anyone know who they were?

Another glaring issue was the complete lack of tactics and planning. It appeared that security just showed up with attack dogs and went at the protesters. Where was their perimeter? What about layers of security? When they did deploy security personnel, they clearly deployed them against the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.

They got out and went at the protesters. With the seeming hope that they would just all go home when they saw the dogs. Instead of mounting any kind of effective security strategy, they ended up being the aggressors and clearly aggravating the situation.

Things should have been done differently by Dakota Access Pipeline security

That is not how things should be done in modern protest security. You set up a perimeter and add layers of security. You then deploy clearly uniformed personnel (so no one can mistake them for thugs or aggressors of any kind). If (which I disagree with) you were to use well-trained dogs as a defensive measure, they are the last line of defense. Only to be used when the protesters have clearly become violent and will not stop.

Most importantly, you document the entire exchange and have it ready to be presented as evidence in court.

Precision Risk Management Group has years of experience handling security for protests like the Dakota Access Pipeline, labor strikes, and plant closing protests.