Coeur d'Alene Tribe at odds with county over police
The Coeur d'Alene Tribe and Benewah County, Idaho, are providing different accounts of law enforcement on the reservation.

The tribe had a cross-deputization agreement with the county. Sheriff Bob Kirts revoked it because he said non-Indians were being booked in tribal court.

But Kirts claims tribal officers can still arrest non-Indians for emergencies and in drunken driving incidents. However, the tribe says it was never informed of the decision until Kirts brought over a letter -- backdated to February 6, 2007 -- a few months ago.

Without a full agreement, however, the tribe says non-Indians are getting away with crimes. County officers can take up to 45 minutes to respond, if they show up at all, according to the tribe.

A bill just introduced in the Idaho Legislature would give the tribe the ability to arrest non-Indians in Benewah County for violating state law. Tribal officers would have to be certified by the state and the tribe would have to carry insurance and waive sovereign immunity for lawsuits involving officers.

Get the Story:
Split in the road (The Spokesman Review 2/11)

Relevant Documents:
DOC: State and Indian Tribal Law Enforcement Act

Related Stories:
Coeur d'Alene Tribe law enforcement bill introduced (2/10)
Editorial: Sheriff wrong about Coeur d'Alene policing (2/8)
Coeur d'Alene law enforcement bill stirs controversy (02/05)
Editorial: Back tribal arrest authority over non-Indians (2/3)