Department Of Justice Awards Over $2 Million In Grants To Improve Public Safety And Serve Crime Victims In Western District Of Michigan Tribal Communities
Grand Traverse Band Selected to Join Program to Improve the Exchange of Critical Data for Public Safety
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – The Department of Justice has selected an additional 12 federally recognized tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program that provides tribal governments with means to access, enter, and exchange data with national crime information systems, including those maintained by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division and the states.
“Timely access to federal criminal information can help protect domestic violence victims, place foster children in safe conditions, solve crimes, and apprehend fugitives on tribal land, among other important uses,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Increasing tribal access to criminal databases is a priority of the Justice Department and this Administration, and essential to many tribal government efforts to strengthen public safety in their communities.”
“Effective information sharing is a critical component to keeping tribal communities safe,” stated U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge. “We are delighted that our law enforcement partners at the Grand Traverse Band will now have access to this important tool.”
The program provides training as well as software and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots, and submit information to FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems. With these additional tribes, there are now 108 federally recognized Tribes participating in TAP.
TAP has been an important resource for the department’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative and the Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives known as Operation Lady Justice. The Department of Justice began TAP in 2015 in response to concerns raised by tribal leaders about the need to have direct access to federal systems.
Using TAP, tribes have shared information about missing persons; registered convicted sex offenders; entered domestic violence orders of protection for nationwide enforcement; run criminal histories; identified and arrested fugitives; entered bookings and convictions; and completed fingerprint-based record checks for non-criminal justice purposes such as screening employees or volunteers who work with children.
The following tribes have been newly selected for participation in TAP:
1. Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
2. Cow Creek Band of Umpqua
3. Fort Belknap Indian Community
4. Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa
5. Havasupai Tribe
6. Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
7. Menominee Tribe
8. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
9. Muckleshoot Tribe
10. Passamaquoddy Tribe
11. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok
12. United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee
TAP is managed by the Justice Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Tribal Justice. It is funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
For more information on TAP, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.