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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
To support the community policing efforts of tribal law enforcement agencies and the safety of their officers and communities, the COPS Office awards grant funding through many of its programs, including Community Policing Development (CPD), Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMWHA), COPS Hiring Program (CHP), and the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS).
Since its inception, the COPS Office has awarded funds to hundreds of tribal law enforcement agencies to advance the development and testing of innovative strategies, build knowledge about effective crime prevention practices, and support the health and safety of their officers.
Commenting on the impact of COPS Office grants, United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “The wide range of programs these funds will support—from de-escalation training and anti-bias efforts to technical assistance and accreditation programs—are critical to achieving our public safety goals.”
This year, grants were awarded to 44 nations as well as to a law enforcement association that supports tribal accreditation and a university that is aiding criminal justice efforts to address a major public safety concern of tribal nations.
Cahto Tribe of Laytonville Rancheria in California: $200,000 to support their ability to build and maintain their officers' de-escalation proficiency.
Through its law enforcement and social services departments, the Cahto Tribe will collaborate with the Mendocino County Sheriff's office, the Laytonville Fire Department, and other entities as well as with other tribes to develop a comprehensive and tribal culturally sensitive de-escalation plan.
The tribe will seek input from mental health professionals and other experts who have cultural knowledge of the tribe to provide de-escalation training in a collaborative program that includes tracking of incidents and identification of areas needing more training.Coyote Valley Tribal Council of California: $125,000 for Microgrants / Officer Engagement: Police Officer Engagement Program.
The Police Department of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians will use the funding to recruit and retain high quality officers. They will hire two law enforcement consultants to develop strategies based on evidence-based practices and policies, focusing on improved officer engagement and wellness.
They will also conduct a staff and community needs analysis to gauge crime and public safety concerns, the effectiveness of departmental programs, and their staffing needs.
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan (D.B.A. Gun Lake Tribe): $51,205 to support their efforts in seeking accreditation.
With grant funding, the Gun Lake Tribe’s Public Safety Department can obtain the resources they need to pursue accreditation by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, resources they currently lack because of the tribe’s small size and rural location.
Becoming accredited will increase the department’s effectiveness and efficiency in delivering law enforcement services and enhance their ability to practice community-oriented policing.
Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. Supporting Tribal Agency Accreditation $148,498 to enhance their ability to help tribal law enforcement agencies gain accreditation.
The funding will be directed to the association’s Arizona Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ALEAP), which will use the funds to increase their accreditation capabilities, improve customer service, and reduce costs.
This program will encourage tribes to seek accreditation by offering training, technical, financial, and technology assistance and an ALEAP Tribal Agency Liaison to assist them.
Stressing the importance of the LEMWHA awards, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said that maintaining—and improving—officers’ mental health is critically important, not only for them but also for their fellow officers, their loved ones, and the communities they serve. This year, three tribes received LEMHWA awards.
The Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department: $102,497 to provide integrated mental health services provided to staff and family members.
To support the mental health of the department’s officers and the functioning of their families, their Hina’ Achónna’chi (Road Where They Persevere) program will use the funding to work with a team of professional mental health experts to provide needed services.
The program includes expansion of the department’s peer support teams, mental health training, a peer-led family support group, and referrals to treatment by licensed professionals.
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians: $124,960 for creating a peer support mental health and wellness program based on Tribal culture.
Called Even Stronger!, the program is designed by tribal officers, healers, and teachers who have worked with professional mental health practitioners and trainers. It is designed for tribal public safety officers and line staff whose jurisdictions are often remote and rural.
Activities include ceremonies for healing and other purposes, a sweat lodge, peer support services, and training as well as referral to clinics.
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians: $69,175 for supplying public safety services to tribal members, residents, and others while on the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indian Reservation land.
To address mental fatigue, trauma, and other issues, the Soboba Department of Public Safety will use the funds to create a Peer Support Team led by a licensed social worker.
They will also modify policies and procedures to address traumatic situations, mandate the review of incidents immediately following these events, and provide follow-up care and referrals for long-term care.
This year, three tribes received CHP funding, enabling them to reduce crime and advance public safety by hiring or rehiring additional career law enforcement officers, thereby increasing their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.
TRGP supports the implementation of community policing and meets the most serious needs of tribal law enforcement: hiring or re-hiring career law enforcement officers and Village Public Safety Officers and procuring equipment and training to implement or enhance community policing efforts.
This year, 40 tribes received a total of $25,493,737 in TRGP funding: $9,612,932 for hiring and $15,880,805 for equipment and training.
The COPS Office also awarded $400,000 to Western Oregon University to create a tribal-centered approach to address the concerns of the American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding missing and murdered Indigenous people, particularly missing and murdered women and girls.
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