We were pleased to complete a historic cross deputation agreement between our Tribal Police and the St. Joseph County Police. Ten Pokagon Band Tribal Police Officers and more than 35 St. Joseph County Deputies were sworn in so that we can work cooperatively to enforce the laws of each jurisdiction. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Council Chambers of the County City Building in South Bend. This cross deputation agreement establishes a relationship for cooperative law enforcement and is the first such agreement in the state of Indiana.
The cross deputation agreement helps cover jurisdictional gaps in law enforcement when there is Tribal land near or within another jurisdiction like St. Joseph County. With this agreement, each police department can enforce its laws in the other jurisdiction.
We share cross deputation agreements with police departments in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties in Michigan. Our Tribal Police Department assists these law enforcement agencies with improved technology, shared training, and the day-to-day business of police work. Our cooperative relationship with the St. Joseph County Police Department will act in the same way as our successful agreements with police departments in Michigan.
Our Police Department's mission is to provide a safe, welcome, and orderly environment for the community, defend the sovereignty of the Band and the rights of all the people in its jurisdiction, and assist in improving the quality of life for all Pokagon citizens. The department consists of highly educated, trained men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect the membership and the surrounding community.