"Some people have asked what North Dakota tribal leaders talked about when they met recently with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on his visit to North Dakota. The main subject was the same one we’ve been dealing with for years: the critical shortage of law enforcement personnel on Indian reservations.
For more than 20 years, I have listened to tribal leaders express the need for adequate law enforcement resources. It happened again during the meeting with Salazar. This time, their descriptions were verified by information gathered during recent hearings of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, confirming the existence of a long-standing public safety crisis on many reservations.
Tribal communities face violent crime rates 2½ times the national average. In some places, the rate is 20 times the average. Domestic and sexual violence are especially prevalent. More than one in three American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes, and two in five will be subject to domestic violence.
But when a crime occurs on a reservation, it usually takes hours, not minutes, for police to show up. By then, the event is over, the harm is done, and the perpetrators are long on their way."
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David Gipp: Reservations need more police
(The Bismarck Tribune 5/9)