Oglala Sioux Tribe to lose 59 police officers

The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota will lose 59 police officers at the end of March due to a loss of federal funding.

The tribe was awarded grants under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program at the Department of Justice. But once the money runs out, the 59 officers will go, leaving only 29 left to patrol the 3.2 million acres of the second-largest reservation in the United States.

"The Department of Justice appropriated $18 million for 500 tribes to fight over for their entire law enforcement operations. It�s ridiculous," Police Chief Ron Duke told The Rapid City Journal.

The tribe is searching for other sources of funds to maintain its Public Safety Department. Duke is scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Committee in March about shortfalls in Indian Country law enforcement.

Patrick Mills, a tribal member who is the new director of the Public Safety Department, says morale among officers is low. He was a criminal investigator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the past 19 years.

Get the Story:
Tribal law enforcement faces big reduction (The Rapid City Journal 2/15)
New OST police captain has plenty of experience (The Rapid City Journal 2/15)

Relevant Links:
COPS, Department of Justice -

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