Oglala Sioux Tribe Chief of Police Mark Mesteth with information technology supervisor Tawny Zimiga. Photo: Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety
Law | National

Mary Annette Pember: Oglala Sioux Tribe works on law enforcement pact

High rates of violent crime -- including 17 homicides last year -- have prompted the Oglala Sioux Tribe to enter into talks with local law enforcement. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember has more about a potentially historic agreement that could help catch criminals on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota:
Oglala Sioux tribal authorities on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and law enforcement leaders in Pennington County and Rapid City are seeking a law enforcement agreement with the Oglala Sioux tribe. If completed, the agreement would set a historic precedent in law enforcement relations between sovereign tribal and non-Native communities.

Officials from the Pennington County Sheriff’s office, Rapid City police department (Rapid City, Pennington County’s Seat, is about two hours away from the Pine Ridge reservation) and Pennington County State’s Attorney Office met with members of Oglala Sioux tribe’s Law and Order Committee at tribal offices in Pine Ridge on Wednesday July 12 to discuss their ongoing efforts to agree on ways to extradite criminals between jurisdictions as well as share policing resources.

Rapid City and Pennington County law enforcement representatives presented a draft agreement to the members of the Committee for their consideration.

According to both tribal and non-tribal law enforcement, offenders from Rapid City flee to the Pine Ridge Reservation and vice-versa, capitalizing on the historical lack of collaboration between the jurisdictions.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: ‘Can’t Tolerate This Level of Violence’ Say South Dakota Cops (Indian Country Media Network 7/17)

Related Stories:
Oglala Sioux Tribe might enter extradition pact in South Dakota (June 6, 2017)