United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Justice Department Awards More That $2.2 Million To Enhance Tribal Justice And Safety In The Eastern District Of California
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
CONTACT: Lauren Horwood
September 14, 2011
PHONE: (916) 554-2706
Streamlined grant program offers financial assistance with Indian tribes’ prevention
and law enforcement efforts, victim services and youth programs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today grants totaling $2,279,186 to the Bishop Paiute, Karuk and Tule River Tribes in the Eastern District of California, to enhance law enforcement practices and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts in eight purpose areas: public safety and community policing; methamphetamine enforcement; justice systems and alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; violence against women; elder abuse; juvenile justice; and tribal youth programs.
The awards were made under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a single application for tribal-specific grant programs offered by the Justice Department. Overall, the department today announced grants of $118.4 million to nearly 150 American Indian and Alaskan Native nations across the country.
“The U.S. Department of Justice is taking a more active role than ever before in enhancing public safety in Indian country,” said United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. “I am pleased that some of the largest tribes in the Eastern District are receiving the resources they need to protect persons and property on tribal lands.”
The Tule River Tribe, located in Tulare County, will use its grant of $500,000 to bolster the tribe’s own police force. The funding will make possible the purchase of new equipment, including mobile data terminals for police cars. These terminals will permit officers in the field to access law enforcement databases to check on outstanding warrants and criminal histories of persons under investigation. Additionally, the tribe hopes to hire new police officers to patrol the back country of Tule River’s more than 50,000-acre reservation. Tule River Tribal Police Chief Nick Martinez believes the infusion of law enforcement personnel to patrol the tribe’s mountainous areas will greatly assist in the identification and eradication of large-scale marijuana grows occurring on tribal land.
“We have a big reservation – the second largest in California – and the High Country Rangers we hope to hire will help combat illegal wood cutting, poaching, and fishing in addition to marijuana eradication,” Chief Martinez said.
The Bishop Paiute Tribe in Inyo County will be receiving $1,326,566 in federal funding to support one additional tribal police officer and equipment necessary to service that officer. Currently, the tribal police force is staffed by one officer who patrols an 867-acre reservation. The funding will help keep Bishop Paiute’s Tribal Police force operational for an additional three years.
Finally, $452,620 in funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, will go to the Karuk Tribe in Siskiyou County. Funds will be used to expand the tribe’s youth wellness program by providing support for tutoring, mentoring, and academic services for tribal youth as well as support for the tribe’s youth cultural awareness programs.
“We are very proud to receive this funding from the Department of Justice. This program will help prevent juvenile delinquency by providing activities centered on cultural activities and education which is are important to overcome juvenile delinquency problems. This comprehensive juvenile delinquency prevention/intervention/treatment program will further integrate both school and community resources to better address our concerns regarding our Tribal youth,” said Michael Thom, Vice Chairman of the Karuk Tribe.
Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced this latest round of tribal funding during the department’s 19th annual Four Corners Indian Country Conference in Ignacio, Colo., underscoring the Justice Department’s commitment to enhancing public safety in Indian Country and the importance of a streamlined grant application process for federal funding.
“I am pleased today to announce the Justice Department’s continued investment in programs that offer innovative and comprehensive approaches to public safety and justice in Indian Country,” said Associate Attorney General Perrelli. “Our government-to-government consultations have been critical to our understanding of how to better serve and support our tribal partners. By deepening our engagement with tribal governments, we have sought to help put an end to the unacceptable and sobering crime rates witnessed in Indian Country.”
The department developed CTAS and administered the first round of consolidated grants in September 2010 in response to shared views of tribal leaders that the department’s grant-making process was too cumbersome and needed increased flexibility. Today, tribes seeking funding for more than one purpose area can submit a single grant application, instead of multiple applications.
The grants are administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The complete list of the Fiscal Year 2011 CTAS grantees, a CTAS Fact Sheet and other information about the consolidated solicitation is also available at www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov.
Soon after he came into office, Attorney General Holder identified building and sustaining safe and secure tribal nations as one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities. In June of 2009, the department launched a wide-ranging initiative to strengthen public safety in Indian Country. Since that time, the department has taken a number of steps to deepen its commitment to Indian nations and to develop more effective partnership with tribal leaders, police, prosecutors, courts and advocates to address and combat crime.
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