Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
DOWAGIAC, MICHIGAN Whether for a natural disaster, such as a tornado, or simply a concert event, the Pokagon Band Tribal Police Department's new mobile command center is ready when and wherever needed on tribal lands owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in southwest Michigan.
Tiffany Schalon-Graves and officer Jim Sumners at the Command Center
“With tribal land spread over like a checkerboard, we felt it makes sense for us to have the ability to have a command center when needed,”
stated Pokagon Tribal Police Captain Chris VanCompernoller.
“For instance, if a tornado happens and our mobile command center is there, we have tables, computers, wifi and electricity from a generator to recharge cell phones as needed.”
The Pokagon Band Tribal Police Department maintains a force of 18 employees, including one administrative assistant, 16 police officers and one detective.
The Mobile Command Center Interior
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is headquartered in Dowagiac, Michigan, but has various pieces of tribal land that includes two casinos: Four Winds Casino at New Buffalo, Michigan, some 38 miles from Dowagiac and Four Winds Casino in Hartford, Michigan, located just over 25 miles from its tribal headquarters.
The new command center was open for the public to view at the Tribe's Oshke-Kno-Kewéwen Powwow held on Memorial Day weekend in Dowagiac.
Visitors were able to see the computers that are linked to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service, which can pinpoint storm activity down to the street.
Pokagon Tribal Police Mobile Command Center
“We are excited to have this unit because we can be on the scene monitoring situations as they occur,”
said Tiffany Schalon-Graves, police emergency management coordinator, who was on hand at the powwow to show the mobile command center to those who wished to visit it.
Schalon-Graves said the mobile command center will be used when the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo opens Silver Creek Event Center, its outdoors entertainment stage in July. Rod Stewart is the opening act for the new venue on July 7.
“We will this unit there to provide officers with an office away from police headquarters,”
The unit is an empty shell with collapsible tables and chairs that has room for the tribal ATV that is transported wherever the mobile command center goes.
The Pokagon Band Tribal Police Department works closely with other law enforcement in Michigan, including other tribal police agencies as part of the Michigan Tribal Law Enforcement Association and county sheriff departments in southwest Michigan.
Department of Justice, COPS, Community Oriented Policing Services funds helped the tribal police fund this mobile command center.
posted June 2, 2012 10:30 am edt
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.