Tribal, state police earn federal enforcement authority in Indian Country

PHOENIX - More than 40 tribal police and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers were tested recently after a three-day training course led by federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office. Those who pass the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) exam will receive a special law enforcement certificate granting them federal law enforcement authority in Indian Country.

The training was the third time that the BIA and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona have teamed up to give the training over the past year with approximately 100 tribal and state police officers certified through the program. Officers from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Yavapai-Prescott Tribe and others along with more than a dozen officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety have completed the course.

Having the Special Law Enforcement Certificate Card (SLEC) empowers tribal and state police to make arrests on federal charges in Indian Country, including misdemeanor and felony violations of federal law. This increases the tools and protection available to officers to address areas as common as fire and dumping misdemeanor violations, to investigations and arrests for felonies such as drug trafficking, child sex abuse and murder.

U.S. Attorney Diane J. Humetewa said, "This training is a force multiplier, allowing tribal, and state police officers to increase the law enforcement efforts within Indian Country communities."

The course includes intensive segments on Indian Country jurisdiction, Indian Country crimes (Major Crimes Act), Federal court procedure, civil liability, child abuse and child abuse reporting, Central Violations Bureau, juvenile process and procedure, Indian liquor and conservation laws, and crime victims rights, among other areas.


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