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BRADLEY, MICHIGAN - The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, commonly known as the Gun Lake Tribe, announced Monday afternoon that it has entered into an agreement with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department to cross-deputize its public safety officers.
Currently, the Gun Lake Tribe has only one, the Tribe's Public Safety Director, Rick Rabenort. The Tribe is in the process of hiring two additional public safety officers.
The Gun Lake opened the Gun Lake Casino on February 10, 2011 and found an immediate need to work closely with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department, which handled the increased automobile traffic flow. During the first week of operation of the Gun Lake Casino, sheriff deputies closed down the off ramp leading to the casino to avoid traffic congestion.
"The Tribe places a high priority on the safety of its citizens, the local community and guests. To that end, we hired Rick to lead the development of our public safety department and build upon its capabilities in the years to come," commented D.K. Sprague, chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe.
The Gun Lake Tribe Department of Public Safety was acknowledged by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) with the authority to employ law enforcement officers and empower these officers to act as peace officers under state laws. This action followed the execution of a cross-deputization agreement between the Tribe and Allegan County.
Tribal police officers will have authority to enforce local, state and federal laws in the community, but have primary responsibility to enforce tribal law on tribal lands. Tribal police have jurisdiction over tribal citizens and tribal property.
"Our officers were given Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) special training so they can understand enforcement of federal laws on trust land, " Lt. Frank Baker of the Allegan County Sheriff's Department commented to the Native News Network. "The agreement allows us to provide seamless law enforcement."
posted June 14, 2011 7:00 am et
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