National Strategy - in October 2007, the White House issued the National Strategy for Information Sharing (PDF). The Strategy states that tribal governments are critical partners with federal, state, and local governments and must be able to share and make use of law enforcement and anti-terrorism intelligence. Tribal law enforcement agencies protect tribal communities and also guard against threats to our national security. For more information about the information sharing needs of tribal government agencies, visit: http://www.ise.gov/mission-partner/state-local-territorial-and-tribal-governments.
FBI Criminal Justice Information Services – The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division provides tribal criminal justice agencies with a variety of information sharing resources. Supporting pre-existing FBI practices, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-211) amended 28 U.S.C. 534 to statutorily confirm that qualified tribal law enforcement agencies are authorized to access federal criminal information databases. This includes access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP), Uniform Crime Reports, and other FBI-maintained databases that support law enforcement operation in Indian country and throughout the US. Effective January 2015, changes were made to 28 CFR 25.6(j) allowing tribal law enforcement agency access to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for tribal firearm permitting and licensing purposes and for disposal of firearms by tribal criminal justice agencies, see: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-11-20/pdf/2014-27386.pdf . Criminal justice information sharing policy issues are addressed by the FBI Advisory Policy Board (APB) which includes tribal criminal justice agency representation. Tribal Liaisons are available to assist tribal government agencies find the right points of contact within FBI CJIS.
Fusion Centers – One of the ways that information sharing principles are being implemented is through the creation of fusion centers. Former Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the National Fusion Center Conference and indicated his support for fusion centers. Fusion Centers provide opportunities for federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to share intelligence in order to improve public safety. The national Fusion Center Guidelines (PDF) and the Baseline Capabilities for State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers (PDF) both provide for tribal involvement. Tribal participation in fusion centers is key to ensuring that the National Strategy for Information Sharing is fully implemented in Indian country. For more information about inclusion of tribal agencies in fusion center activities, visit: http://www.justice.gov/otj/pdf/tribal-fusion-centers.pdf .
Web Based Systems – It should be noted that many of the criminal justice information sharing systems that can be utilized by tribal law enforcement agencies are now web based and do not require special equipment nor expensive lines of communication. Examples include the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), the FBI National Data Exchange (N-DEx), and the FBI Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).