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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, March 14, 2020

U.S. Attorney’s Office Hosts Tribal Officers for Special Law Enforcement Commission Training

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) hosted tribal partners this week for Special Law Enforcement Commission training. The course was provided to officers who will be cross commissioned to work with the BIA.

“I am proud to partner with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to host tribal officers for Special Law Enforcement Commission training. Successful completion of this course allows tribal officers to enforce federal law in Indian country,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “This collaboration is critical to fight violent crime in Indian Country and to help better provide justice to victims and their families.”

Tribal Officers from Chickasaw, Muscogee (Creek), Choctaw, and Sac and Fox Nations attended the training. Assistant U.S. Attorneys taught sessions covering Indian Country jurisdiction, report writing and testifying, court amendment issues and discovery obligations.

On day one of the training, Tribal Liaison Shannon Cozzoni, discussed Indian Country Jurisdiction and elements of federal crimes, including homicide, assault, and assault on federal officers. She further addressed domestic abuse, sex crimes and child abuse. Deputy Criminal Chief Timothy Faerber reviewed key participants and procedural tools available to federal investigators, procedural steps in a federal prosecution, and procedural requirements that protect the rights of the accused.

On day two of the training, Victim Specialist Gayla Stewart provided an overview of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and how to comply with the law. The law specifically outlines victims’ rights during the prosecution process. The Victim Specialist communicates with a victim about his or her case progression through the federal judicial system, helping to ensure the law is fulfilled and the victim receives needed support.

Also on day two, Criminal Chief Allen Litchfield discussed important legal considerations for comprehensive report writing. He further discussed courtroom testimony and the importance of accurately describing evidence and its relevance to the case. Appellate Chief Leena Alam instructed officers about practical applications of the Fourth Amendment. Her session was designed to help law enforcement officers ensure that they conduct traffic stops, searches, and seizures consistent with the Constitution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Roberts exposed the officers to the ethical, procedural, and Constitutional requirements concerning the criminal discovery process. Finally, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Gallant ended the day with a session on civil liability, litigation, and the Federal Torts Claim Act process, which involves the legal principles concerning civil liability for law enforcement agents. 

Tribal officers finished training on day three with a review and qualifying exam.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated March 14, 2020