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Published April 16, 2023

Guarding the Capitol 

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
Darcy Aberle, sergeant with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and director of Capitol security. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Darcy Aberle, sergeant with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and director of Capitol security. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Director of Capitol Security


BISMARCK – With so many people coming in and out of the North Dakota State Capitol, and the fact that it’s a high profile meeting place where controversial issues take place, security is necessary. 

Darcy Aberle, North Dakota Highway Patrol sergeant and director of Capitol security, is at the Capitol year round keeping the peace, though he said most people only see Capitol security during legislative time. 

Aberle said he has learned during his first year that incidents at the Capitol happen more often than people might think. 

“I try to have two or three people around,” said Aberle. “We also have our headquarters here. They have a couple uniformed officers. Just the other day we had an incident in session, we had people that had to go to a call.” 

Though Aberle wasn’t at the Capitol in 2021 when COVID was a major issue, from what he heard, he said there were a lot more testy people. 

“Thankfully we went back to North Dakota nice,” said Aberle. “We agree to disagree. There were a lot of legislators that agreed to listen to those people. It actually makes my job a lot easier when they listen to people. Then I don’t have that confrontation.” 

Aberle, of Bismarck, has been an officer for almost 23 years, mostly in Highway Patrol. He is originally from Williston and attended Dickinson State University. Aberle went back to Williston as a trooper for 20 years, then moved to Bismarck to take over the road position before starting at the Capitol last September. 

For fun, Aberle and his family enjoy outdoor activities. 

“We’re an outdoor family,” said Aberle. “Hunting, fishing, the North Dakota things. I tell people that’s what keeps me in North Dakota.” 

Aberle and his family own a pontoon they use on the lake during summer evenings. 

“North Dakota has great outdoors,” said Aberle. “People don’t take advantage of the great outdoors, especially around this town. We have great trails.” 

Aberle has a young daughter that he takes on walks. 

“It’s very safe,” said Aberle. “People are always saying hi.” 

Aberle said it’s amazing how many people live near the Capitol that haven’t been there. 

“I’m from northwest North Dakota, and really never spent any time here,” said Aberle. “My four-year-old, she could come to the Heritage Center every week and she’d love it. I’m fortunate enough to live here, and I love it. Same thing with the Capitol, the 18th floor, I love it. A great view.” 

Aberle said a lot of people travel the country to different state capitals, and get their books stamped for every capital they’ve been to. 

“We’re usually towards the end of their books,” Aberle laughed. “But they can’t believe how open we are. Our tour guides are great with them and know so much about the building. One guy from Arizona was here last week and Governor Burgum was just walking down the hallway. He just couldn’t believe that the North Dakota governor would be walking down the hallway.” 

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