Tribal Community Policing Resources

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) provides resources and training and technical assistance (TTA) to further practical and specialized knowledge used to implement and enhance justice system efforts, particularly in the law enforcement field. The COPS Office supports resources and TTA that is not only specifically geared toward tribes but also generally applies across broader topic areas such as community policing, drugs, gangs, and youth safety, among others.

On this page you’ll find a variety of resources and courses the COPS Office offers for tribal law enforcement. These resources are constantly being updated and added to so please check back often.


The FY24 Tribal Access Program (TAP) is open and accepting applications from June 24, 2024, until August 30, 2024. Please visit the TAP website to learn more and register for the TAP Overview webinars.

Tribal Resources Grant Program       
Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation

CTAS Purpose Area #1: Tribal Resources Grant Program

  • Expands the implementation of community policing and meets the most serious needs of law enforcement in Tribal Nations
  • Hire or re-hire career law enforcement officers and Village Public Safety Officers
  • Procure basic equipment and training to assist in the initiation or enhancement of Tribal community policing efforts


The Department of Justice created this directory of grant resources to support the President’s charge, in Executive Order 14053 (“Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People”), to make “grantmaking more equitable for Tribal applicants seeking support for law enforcement purposes and for the provision of services to victims and survivors.” Administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Office of Justice Programs, and the Office on Violence Against Women, the initiatives described below include discretionary and formula grant programs for which tribes are eligible. They support a range of effective criminal justice, prevention, intervention, reentry, and victim services activities. Funding opportunities can be found on grants.gov and are announced as they become available on the OJP, OVW, and COPS Office websites.

Tribal MOU/MOA   
Sample Resource Library

This library is designed to provide users with the resources they need to research and successfully draft memorandums of understanding (MOU) and memorandums of agreement (MOA). MOUs and MOAs will help agencies develop and solidify partnerships to address missing or murdered Indigenous persons cases and provide a wide range of other related opportunities for collaboration.

Training and Technical Assistance

Volunteer Engagement for American Indian and Alaska Native Missing Person Cases

Course Provider: IACP

Effective Multi-Jurisdictional Collaboration in Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Cases

Course Provider: Western Community Policing Institute (WCPI)

Volunteer Engagement for American Indian and Alaska Native Missing Person Cases

Course Provider: Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center

Public Law 280 Training Program for Enhanced Collaborative Law Enforcement

Course Provider: Strategic Applications International

Dispatch Articles


Unresolved Cases: A Review of Protocols and Resources for Supporting Investigations Involving American Indians and Alaska Natives


Tribal Resources for Justice Systems and Law Enforcement


Perceptions of Methamphetamine in Indian Country: Interviews with Service Providers in Ten Western Tribes


Cross-Deputization in Indian Country


Promising Practices in Tribal Community Policing


Break the Cycle: Methamphetamine and Community-Oriented Policing in Indian Country


Public Safety Partnerships in Indian Country


Successful Tribal Community Policing Initiatives: A Resource for Communities Developing Public Safety Programs and Strategies


Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Resource Guide


What You Need to Know about Background Screening: A Reference Guide for Youth-Serving Organizations and their Communities


Successful Tribal Community Policing Initiatives, volume 2: A Resource for Communities Developing Public Safety Programs and Strategies


Tribal MOU/MOA Sample Resource Library Flash Drive


What's New in Blue

What’s New in Blue is a series of short videos intended to keep viewers informed about innovative developments and critical issues in law enforcement.

Season 1 | Episode 4: What's New In Blue: Policing in Indian Country feat. Chief Francis Bradley Sr.

In this episode of What’s New in Blue, Chief Francis Bradley Sr. discusses the importance of culture in policing in Indian Country. Francis Bradley is the Chief of Police for the Hualapai Nation in Peach Springs, AZ. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 232 and retired as a commander with the Navajo Nation Police Department where he served from 1980 to 2002.

Background Investigations Overview and Considerations for Law Enforcement Personnel in Alaska Native Villages

Recorded: Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10 A.M. Alaska Time / 2 P.M. ET

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) sponsored an overview webinar on background investigations to educate applicants and awardees about these types of investigations. The COPS Office requires awardees of the Tribal Resources Grant Program to conduct background investigations, as well as attend a basic law enforcement academy, for all positions hired under the program.

The key goals of this webinar were to:

  • Describe what  background investigations are
  • Discuss the importance of conducting background investigations for law enforcement personnel
  • Describe how background investigations can inform hiring decisions
  • Provide possible methods for conducting background investigations
  • Discuss basic law enforcement academy options in Alaska
  • Answer questions about background investigations and the basic law enforcement academy

Moderator: Matthew Lysakowski, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs, COPS Office       
Presenters: Fannie Black, Director of Programs, Yuut Elitnaurviat-People's Learning Center, Inc.; R.E. “Bob” Griffiths, Executive Director, Alaska Police Standards Council; David A. Willson, Sergeant, Alaska Department of Public Safety Recruitment Unit

What You Need to Know about Background Screening: A Reference Guide for Youth-Serving Organizations and their Communities       
This guidebook, thoroughly updated in 2021 with new information and research, describes the layers of screening an agency should consider when developing a comprehensive background screening process and offers links to useful tools and resources to help youth-serving agencies understand the best screening practices that are available.

Podcasts - The Beat

Talking Tribal Policing and De-escalation with Chief Jacob Molitor

There are an estimated 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country, and while there are many similarities between jurisdictions, there are also many differences. Jacob Molitor, Chief of the Meskwaki Nation Police Department in Iowa and Chair of the Small and Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association, joins The Beat to discuss unique aspects of serving a small tribal jurisdiction. Chief Molitor also discusses an innovative approach that his department has implemented to institutionalize robust de-escalation practices.

June 2013

Tribal Community Policing

June 2013

Tribal Interoperability

March 2012

Developing Effective Partnerships

Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related)

A film highlighting the hope of the Lakota people through Akicita and community policing.

In addressing the challenges facing the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux Tribe embraces Akicita; a community-based approach to public safety that has been a part of the Lakota people for centuries. The Akicita are the guardians. Akicita is a shared responsibility among all community members. Akicita is community policing. For the Lakota people there is hope for the future in remembering the past.

Contact COPS Office

Thank you for your interest in the COPS Office. We are eager to answer any questions you may have and are very interested in hearing your thoughts on our work and on community policing in general. Please use the contact information here to get in touch with us.  The Response Center can assist you with questions regarding our programs as well as connect you with our community policing experts and resources.

Response Center: 800-421-6770

The Response Center’s hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Email: tribalgrants@usdoj.gov