Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney

MORTON COUNTY, N.D. — The 10 Dane County sheriff’s deputies who were sent to North Dakota to help with protests over a proposed pipeline running through the state will return to Wisconsin by Sunday, according to the sheriff’s office.

According to a news release, Sheriff Dave Mahoney made the decision after talking to numerous community members who said the deputies should not be sent to the area.

“With the best of intentions, I agreed to send our deputies to this public safety request for assistance to provide expertise and serve as an example for how to de-escalate highly volatile demonstrations. Over the past three days, the Dane County (special events team) has been recognized and singled out as an example for others to follow and is being held in a very high regard by other law enforcement leaders serving as incident commanders at this event,” Mahoney said in the release. “Now that our assistance is complete we can continue to focus on our community issues.”

Two of the five deputies who were sent from Rock County to help with the protests will return to the area on Oct. 18 and be replaced by two new deputies, sheriff’s department Capt. Jude Maurer said. All five Rock County deputies will return on Oct. 26, Maurer said.

Officials in North Dakota had requested assistance in handling the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline through an emergency management assistance compact, the release said. As part of the request, officials in North Dakota will pay for all expenses involved in sending the deputies to the protest.

Environmentalists and members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been protesting the pipeline, saying it will run through sacred grounds and threaten the environment. The proposed pipeline would carry 450,000 barrels of oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois.