Editorial: Tribes need law enforcement resources
"Officials from six tribes in South Dakota recently testified during a congressional field hearing in Lower Brule that federal grants and other funding sources that help pay for police officers on the reservations has decreased, meaning there are fewer cops than there were in previous years.

This comes at a time when most of the state's nine reservations have experienced significant population growth. In fact, reservations today have a much younger population than the rest of the state.

The prevalence of high unemployment among young people is a combination that likely requires more police, not fewer.

"Crime rates on most reservations are unacceptably high," Patrick Ragsdale, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said in a statement offered at the hearing.

The Bush Administration offered a plan called the Safe Indian Communities Initiative that would have increased funding by $16 million. Congressional leaders dealing with Indian issues rejected the plan as inadequate to meet the needs of reservation law enforcement.

What's the right amount of money? It's difficult to know, but it's clear that in South Dakota, it's trending the wrong direction."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Give reservations enough police (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/10)

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