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Press Release

Department of Justice and Department of Interior team up for major expansion of tribal access to national crime information databases

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
Montana's Blackfeet Indian Nation to participate in TAP program


WASHINGTON— The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior announced a dramatic expansion of a key program that provides tribes with access to national crime information databases.

The Blackfeet Indian Nation, based in Browning, is among 25 tribes that will be new to the Justice Department’s Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP).  The program not only provides access to national criminal databases but also enables tribes to enter and track information about missing persons.

Montana U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said, “We are pleased that the Blackfeet Nation has been selected for expansion of the Tribal Access Program. The program will allow the Blackfeet Tribal Police and other tribal departments to enter information about missing persons into the national missing persons database, enter updates about each person and learn of updates from law enforcement across the country.”

“This will be a big step toward ensuring that missing persons, particularly Blackfeet women and children, are found, and that the Tribe has the most up to date information about missing members,” said Alme, who also is vice chair of the Attorney General’s Native American Issues Subcommittee.

Blackfeet Chairman Tim Davis said, “Having real time access to the TAP program and criminal information readily available to tribal law enforcement agencies provides the assurance that our residents are better served and protected. Indian communities who have sadly experienced so many injustices for so long are now being afforded justice on a more timely and effective scale.”

The Blackfeet tribe will be Montana’s second tribe to join the TAP program. The Fort Peck Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation, based in Poplar, currently participate in the program.

By the end of 2019, the Justice Department will expand the number of TAP participating tribes by more than 50 percent—from 47 tribes to 72 tribes. 

TAP allows tribes access to information in several national databases through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Systems network, including the National Crime Information Center and other databases. 

TAP enhances tribal efforts to register sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act; have access to orders of protection enforced nationwide; protect children; keep firearms away from prohibited persons; improve the safety of public housing; and allow tribes to enter their arrests and convictions into national databases.

The program also provides tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both criminal and civil purposes.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) will fund the instillation of TAP Kiosks at three locations where the BIA-Office of Indian Services (BIA-OIS) deliver direct social services by the end of 2019. The Interior Department aims to expand TAP access at all 28 BIA-Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) operated law enforcement agencies and detention service centers.  These BIA locations will provide some degree of access to TAP for services delivered to more than 50 tribal communities that currently do not have any direct access. 

“Access to information is vital to effective law enforcement,” said Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and the Chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues.  “The Tribal Access Program will enhance and improve the ability of tribal law enforcement officers to serve their communities.”

The Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) is comprised of United States Attorneys with Indian Country in their federal districts. They advise the Attorney General regarding the development and implementation of policies pertaining to justice in Indian Country. The NAIS identified ‘increased law enforcement resources’ as one of four priority areas to improve justice services in Indian Country. Support for and increased dissemination of the TAP was unanimously supported by the US Attorneys at a recent NAIS meeting in Indian Country in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

For more information on TAP, visit:

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

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Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer

Updated October 26, 2018