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September 06, 2012 03:34 PM

US Attorneys Meet With Tribal Officials


Criminal prosecutions have increased by about 25 percent on American Indian reservations in the Dakotas in recent years though tribal officials say public safety personnel and funding are lacking.

Fifteen U.S. attorneys who make up the Department of Justice's Native American Issues Subcommittee met in Bismarck on Thursday to discuss public safety issues with tribal leaders.

Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Charles Murphy says the reservation's police force is short-staffed and sometimes only one officer is on duty to patrol the reservation that straddles North Dakota and South Dakota.

Standing Rock council member Sharon Two Bears says tribes have to compete for public safety funding and the application process is confusing.  She says that housing often isn't available on the reservations for police officers.

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