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10-4 on Police Cooperation for MT Tribal Lands

October 19, 2007

Polson, MT – The City of Polson has signed an agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes about coordinated policing on the Flathead Indian Reservation that will mean more police protection. Tribes Chairman James Steele, Jr. says it's also an example of how to iron out policing controversies between tribes and local governments.

"I think it's a great show of cooperation. Any extra police coverage that you can get really helps protect the community. Anytime you can bring partners in from other jurisdictions who can work together cooperatively, it's a good thing."

Steele says coordinating police protection on tribal lands also helps stretch rural law enforcement resources, which is in the best interest of public safety. The agreement outlines tribal police responsibilities involving tribal members for misdemeanors, and local law enforcement responsibilities for other criminal matters.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MT