Department of Justice Releases Short Film on Community Policing in Oglala Sioux Community

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, January 9, 2017
Najla Haywood
(202) 598-5303

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today released a short film depicting the role of community policing in the Oglala Sioux tribal community.

The seven-minute film, Mitakuye Oyasin, which translates to “we are all related,”will be used by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety to outline the philosophy of community policing, as envisioned through cultural beliefs, to recruits and the community as a whole. The film recognizes that officers are an integral part of the community and community policing is a shared responsibility for public safety.

The cultural belief, Akicita, which means “protector of the people,” has been passed down for generations to members of the Oglala Sioux nation and the short video illustrates that community policing binds the police and the public into a single force for peace, safety and the good of the community. The video is available here:

The project is funded under the COPS Office critical response program and will address trauma training, strategic community policing planning, and related training for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. The COPS Office technical assistance provider, the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI), launched trauma training with the police department in May. The request for training and other assistance from the Department followed the state of emergency declared by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation officials, after a dramatic increase in youth suicides over a 16-month period.

In addition to the training, the COPS Office is working with the tribal agency to develop a comprehensive community policing plan that will include efforts to strengthen community and police relations.

The Critical Response Technical Assistance program was designed to provide targeted technical assistance to law enforcement agencies dealing with high-profile events, major incidents or sensitive issues of varying need. Its goal is to institutionalize and operationalize community policing as a core fundamental philosophy for law enforcement agencies engaging their communities. It also aims to build community trust through positive community perception of law enforcement legitimacy and fairness.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.  Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 129,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.

For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit