Pokagon officer named 2022 Indian Country Task Force Officer of the Year

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

DOWAGIAC — A local law enforcement officer has been recognized for his efforts to serve the community.

Brian Beauchamp, a Detective Lieutenant for the Pokagon Band Tribal Police, received the 2022 Indian Country Task Force Officer of the Year Award.

The award provides international recognition to law enforcement officers who have demonstrated exceptional valor in service to the people of Indian Country, thereby exhibiting the highest traditions of Law Enforcement.

“It means a lot,” Beauchamp said. “I’ve received some other awards but for me it’s a culmination of all the work I’ve done in law enforcement. Taking the experience and contacts has helped me at this job. I think it’s a recognition of knowing the right people to help investigations as well as the tribe.”

Beauchamp has been a member of the PBTP, FBI Detroit and the Benton Harbor Safe Streets Task Force of the St. Joseph RA since 2017. In this capacity, TFO Beauchamp oversees and guides other PTPD investigators with cases occurring on tribal land, while contributing to the success of the BHSSTF. Prior to joining the tribal police, Beauchamp worked for the Kalamazoo Public Safety Department for 25 years before retiring in May of 2017. According to Beauchamp, members of the PBTP recruited Beauchamp to work for the tribe.

“I knew Chief (William Lux),” he said. “They recruited me because they knew I wanted to stay in the law enforcement field. I had two children who were about to start college. It was a smooth transition.”

A 1991 Western Michigan University criminal justice graduate, Beauchamp said his interest in law enforcement began while in college.

“I thought I wanted to be a teacher and had to give my first lesson in front of peers,” he said. “It didn’t go smoothly so I looked for something else to do. I had some friends in the criminal justice program and took a few classes and the rest is history.”

During his time on the BHSSTF, TFO Beauchamp has assisted with the monitoring of two Title III investigations that led to 32 arrests of violent drug dealers and their associates. He also played a primary role in the resolution of two cold case homicides, one of which was a 1995 homicide where the subject was ultimately arrested in Mexico in May 2022. 

In addition to his support of the BHSSTF, Beauchamp also brings tribal cases to the USAO for federal prosecution. In early 2021, he assisted in the investigation and apprehension of a violent subject that had repeatedly choked and struck a tribal citizen over a period of months prior to the victim reporting the domestic abuse to authorities. TFO Beauchamp successfully obtained subject statements indicative of guilt and the subject subsequently pled guilty and was sentenced to four and half years. Additionally, he investigated two sexual assault cases that were successfully prosecuted in federal court, obtaining a 25-year sentence in one case and a 30-year sentence in the other. 

He has contributed to the success of the Task Force and continues to work tirelessly to combat crimes in the area and on the Pokagon Reservation. 

“I like the challenge,” he said. “It keeps me active. Some days you have too many things going on but its not that often. It is gratifying to stay busy. I  have the best of both worlds. Get to teach people at Pokagon and get to keep my mind sharp with investigations.”