Pokagon Fund, St. Joseph Police have cross deputation agreement

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians announced recently that it has completed a historic cross deputation agreement between its tribal police and the St. Joseph County Police.

Ten Pokagon Band Tribal Police Officers and more than 35 St. Joseph County Deputies were sworn in at 10 a.m. so that they can work cooperatively to enforce the laws of each jurisdiction. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Council Chambers of the County City Building in South Bend.

This cross deputation agreement establishes a relationship for cooperative law enforcement and is the first such agreement in the state of Indiana.

The cross deputation agreement helps cover jurisdictional gaps in law enforcement when there is tribal land near or within another jurisdiction like St. Joseph County. With this agreement, each police department can enforce its laws in the other jurisdiction. The Pokagon Band is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the State of Indiana.

“The Pokagon Band already has cross deputation agreements with police departments in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties in Michigan,” said John P. Warren, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “Our tribal police department assists these law enforcement agencies with improved technology, shared training, and the day-to-day business of police work. Our cooperative relationship with the St. Joseph County Police Department will act in the same way as our successful agreements with police departments in Michigan.”

“We are honored to be working with Chief William Lux and the Pokagon Band Police Department in this landmark agreement,” said Sheriff Michael D. Grzegorek, of the St. Joseph County.

The Pokagon Band Police Department’s mission is to provide a safe, welcome, and orderly environment for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi community, defend the sovereignty of the Band and the rights of all the people in its jurisdiction, and assist in improving the quality of life for all Pokagon citizens. The Pokagon Band Police Department consists of highly educated, trained men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect the membership and the surrounding community. More information is available at www.pokagon.com/government/departments/tribal-police.


About The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994. The Pokagon Band is dedicated to providing community development initiatives such as housing, education, family services, medical care and cultural preservation for its approximately 5,000 Citizens.

The Pokagon Band’s ten county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac.