"Mike Shockley is used to working alone. An officer in the Bureau of Indian Affairs police, he was until recently one of just two assigned to night patrols on the Wind River Indian Reservation, an area so vast that he sometimes drove 400 miles in a single shift. Backup? Forget about it. Chances are the other guy was 40 minutes away. As a reservation policeman, you learn to handle stuff on your own.
Not anymore. One night last month, the 37-year-old from Cheyenne was one of four officers who pulled up at a house in separate vehicles, emergency lights flashing, to investigate a report of underage drinking. Two set off in hot pursuit of a 16-year-old girl who had bolted out the back of the house. The pair tackled her in the dirt and the three of them went sprawling, with Shockley bringing up the rear. The teenager was led away in handcuffs.
To an observer, it looked a little like overkill. But that, more or less, is the point. Since early May, the Wind River Reservation police department has nearly quadrupled in size, from eight to 30 officers. The increase is part of a broader federal initiative to reduce crime on the Wind River and three other reservations—Mescalero Apache in New Mexico, Rocky Boy’s in Montana, and Standing Rock in North and South Dakota—by 5 percent over the next two years.
Officials hope that the program, dubbed Operation Alliance—and referred to in some quarters as “the surge”–can serve as a crime-fighting model for the entire reservation system, which has long suffered from high crime rates and a crippling dearth of police."
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Fort Washakie 911: Law Enforcement “Surge” on Tribal Lands