Officials to train tribal police as federal agents

Justice officials say they've traveled to sometimes remote areas to hear from tribal leaders


By Felicia Fonseca
Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — U.S. Department of Justice officials say they've made great strides in improving public safety on American Indian reservations, but they know they have an obligation to do more.

The comments came Tuesday, nearly a year after the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

The measure resulted in the appointment of special U.S. attorneys to ensure violent crimes committed on tribal lands are prosecuted. It also revamped training for reservation police and aims to improve the collection and reporting of Indian crime data.

Justice officials say they've traveled to sometimes remote areas to hear from tribal leaders on how they can better collaborate to combat crime. They've trained tribal police as federal agents, recruited tribal prosecutors to help with federal cases and streamlined grant programs for tribes.

Tribes say they're encouraged by the department's efforts.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press

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