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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 16, 2019

Thirty tribes selected for expansion of program enhancing tribal access to national crime information databases

Six tribes in Washington State – five in Western Washington – selected for program to improve the exchange of critical data

The Department of Justice has selected an additional 30 Indian tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program that provides federally recognized tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both criminal and non-criminal justice purposes.

“The Tribal Access Program is strengthening tribal governance and public safety in tribal communities across the United States,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “TAP provides law enforcement and tribal governments real-time access to data that can help locate a missing person, identify a dangerous fugitive or prevent a domestic abuser from obtaining a gun, among many other important functions.  The Trump administration is committed to fixing these public safety gaps and serving victims in Indian country. I believe the expansion of this law enforcement tool will prove to be critical in achieving those goals.”

“Information sharing and communication is key to community safety not only in our Tribal communities but throughout our district as a whole,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  “The further expansion of TAP to our tribal law enforcement partners recognizes our shared priority of reducing violent crime in Western Washington.”

TAP is currently deployed to more than 75 tribes across the country with over 300 participating tribal justice agencies, including nine in the Western District of Washington.  The program 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 Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Next Generation Identification (NGI) System. 

This fifth expansion of TAP is part of the Justice Department’s continuing focus on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, allowing tribes to more effectively serve and protect their communities by ensuring the exchange of critical data with federal and state databases.

On November 22, Attorney General Barr launched a national strategy to address the issues surrounding missing and murdered Native Americans, and TAP provides the ability for participating tribes to exchange data with FBI CJIS, including data on missing persons from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

In October, the Justice Department announced an unprecedented $273 million in grants to improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women, and support youth programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

The following tribes have been selected for the next phase of TAP in the Western District of Washington:

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Nisqually Indian Tribe

Nooksack Indian Tribe

And in the Eastern District of Washington:

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Western Washington Tribes already using TAP include:

Suquamish Indian Tribe

Tulalip Tribes

Makah Indian Tribe

Lummi Nation

Confederated Tribes of Chehalis

Lower Elwha Tribal Community

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Quinault Indian Nation

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

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 safety within public housing, and allows tribes to record their arrests and convictions in national databases.

TAP supports tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information with 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 non-criminal justice purposes through the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Information Network. TAP, which is managed by the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Tribal Justice, provides specialized training and assistance for participating tribes, including computer-based training and on-site instruction, as well as a 24x7 help desk.

TAP is primarily funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART); the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).  TAP prioritized tribal applicants that have a law enforcement agency currently unable to access the FBI CJIS databases; have a tribal sex offender registry pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act and are currently unable to easily submit data to national crime information databases; and/or have a tribal court which issues orders of protection in domestic violence cases.

For more information on TAP, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

For more information about the Justice Department’s work on tribal justice, public safety issues and victim services, visit www.justice.gov/tribal.

Topic(s): 
Community Outreach
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated December 16, 2019