Hoopa Valley Tribe sees police force drop to just three officers

Leaders of the Hoopa Valley Tribe met with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office on March 23 to discuss law enforcement issues on California's largest reservation. Photo from Facebook

The Hoopa Valley Tribe of California has seen its police force dwindle from 12 officers to just three, The Eureka Times-Standard reports.

The decline was slow but steady. Officers left for other high-paying jobs in the area, spokesperson Kristan Korns said.

“Part of the reason was the salary levels have been consistently lower than in the surrounding community,” Korns told the paper. “It made it difficult to retain trained people.”

In December, the tribe has increased the salaries for police officers and they now range from $19 to $22 an hour. But that didn't stop Chief Robert Kane from leaving the force on March 20.

“Today what has happened is they no longer have a (deputized) chief and they have a lack of officers and it is just not sustainable," Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey told the paper.

Downey said he is interested in re-establishing a station on the reservation, which is the largest in the state. He met with tribal leaders last month to discuss how to move forward.

Get the Story:
Sheriff seeks solution for declining tribal police force (The Eureka Times-Standard 4/8)

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