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Press Release

Department of Justice Announces Tribes Selected for Expansion of Program to Enhance Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Department of Justice Tribal Access Program Will Continue to Improve the Exchange of Critical Data


The Department of Justice announced 15 additional American Indian tribes selected to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program to provide federally recognized tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both civil and criminal purposes.    

These TAP deployments are part of the Justice Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, allowing tribes to more effectively serve and protect their communities by ensuring the exchange of critical data.

“The Tribal Access Program provides tribal governments access to federal crime information databases containing highly useful information, such as criminal background records, outstanding warrants, and domestic violence protection orders,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.   “When federal, state, and tribal governments share information, it makes communities and law enforcement officers safer.  It helps solve crimes and protect people from being victimized.”

The TAP Team is pleased to announce that the following tribes have been selected for the next phase of TAP:

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, Arizona and California
Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation (Washington)
Mashantucket Pequot Indian Tribe (Connecticut)
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico
Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (Mississippi)
Nez Perce Tribe (Idaho)
Passamaquoddy Tribe (Maine)
Round Valley Indian Tribes, Round Valley Reservation, California

TAP is primarily funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).  TAP prioritized selection of tribes that had a tribal sex offender registry pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act and are currently unable to directly submit data to national crime information databases; and/or had a tribal law enforcement agency that will use TAP to access the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC), Next Generation Identification (NGI),  and other national databases to both view and enter information.

TAP is currently deployed to 32 tribes with over 160 tribal criminal justice and civil agencies participating. The service provides software to enable tribes to access national crime information databases and/or a kiosk-workstation that provides the ability to submit and query fingerprint-based transactions via FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) for both criminal and civil purposes.

Success stories from the past two years include:


  • Recovered safely a vulnerable adult kidnap victim and captured the alleged kidnapper through the use of the National Data Exchange (N-DEx).   
  • Identified a previously unknown active warrant issued by another jurisdiction, on a sex offender during the routine process of registering that offender
  • Stopped a known drug user with mental problems, who was found incompetent to stand trial, from purchasing a weapon
  • Prevented a person convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm after the police department identified an imminent threat to former spouse
  • Completed entry of information on all sex offenders on tribal registries into both NGI (with fingerprint, palm prints, mug shots) and NCIC’s National Sex Offender Registration (NSOR) file so sex offender status will be obvious to anyone running a subsequent NCIC check or fingerprint-based background check

TAP enhances tribal efforts to register sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA); have orders of protection enforced off-reservation; protect children; keep firearms away from persons who are disqualified from receiving them; improve the safety of public housing, and allow tribes to enter their arrests and convictions into national databases.

TAP supports tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information and includes appropriate solutions, including a-state-of-the-art biometric/biographic kiosk workstation with capabilities to process finger and palm prints, take mugshots and submit records to national databases, as well as the ability to access CJIS systems for criminal and civil purposes through the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Information Network. TAP, which is managed by the Department of Justice Chief Information Officer, provides specialized training and assistance for participating tribes, including computer-based training and on-site instruction, as well as a 24x7 Help Desk.

For more information on TAP, visit

For more information about the Justice Department’s work on tribal justice and public safety issues, visit:

Updated October 3, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 17-1087