Indian Country Law Enforcement Committee

The purpose of the Indian Country Committee shall be to address issues that develop between jurisdictions. Specifically addressing, and educating the committee membership in regards to unique issues in Indian Country.

Committee Charter

Committee Meeting Agenda - 5/2024
Committee Meeting Agenda - 11/2023

Committee Report - 11/2023

Meeting attended by 22 attendees, including 4 Tribes, Multiple Sheriffs &
Municipal agencies, Multiple State agencies, and the FBI.
*Conducted Charter Review
* Discussed creating a historical document by those involved in passage of
10.92 so that we memorialize the intent of the work that was done. As new
generations of LE leaders enter the market that aren't familiar with the
history and intent of the law, some misunderstandings have occurred that
have lead to unnecessary conflicts. We need a way to bring new Tribal
leaders and their partner new Sheriffs and Municipal Chiefs up to speed on
the law, Of the 5 people in the room when the final version was developed
in consultation between the house and senate, 2 of them have died, and
only the Sheriff and 2 Tribal Chiefs are still alive. We need a reference for
future generations, so the fights of the past don't reappear in the future.
The Committee had a brief discussion with the Office of Independent
Investigations, and discussed their position on shootings involving Tribal
Enforcement officers. The bottom line is nothing is very clear in this area,
and it will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
We discussed how many Sheriff's are still issuing cross deputizations to
Tribal agencies, and why they might be better served by supporting Tribes
in accessing State Authority under RCW 10.92. (Liability protection, and
accreditation standards) We urged any Sheriff considering such a move to
talk to their Tribe, and give them at least 2-3 years warning before making
any dramatic changes, so that the Tribe had the opportunity to go through
all of the processes.
We re-briefed and discussed the VAWA 2022 Federal Law that allows
Tribes that meet certain requirements to arrest non-natives for a limited list
of offenses. A few Tribes have accessed it, but in the next few years, we
don't anticipate more than 5 Tribes accessing the authority.
We discussed MMIW reporting, what is going well (The WSP MMIW
Section is GREAT!) and how we need to keep educating non-Tribal law
enforcement that all missing natives are defined as "Missing Endangered"
under Washington State Law.
Brief discussion of jurisdictional issues for local agencies that were an
outflow of the retrocession by the Yakima Tribe.

Committee Chairs  
Mike Lasnier Chief, Suquamish Tribal Police Department
Ryan Spurling Sheriff, Mason County