New OK law will allow tribal officers to work closer with nontribal officers

By: Ashley Park Email
By: Ashley Park Email

ADA, OK -- Oklahoma law enforcement will now be cracking down even harder on criminals under House bill 1871.

Tribal police can now respond to emergencies concerning immediate threats on tribal lands without having to wait on non-tribal officers to arrive.

"This bill will give tribal law enforcement officers who are BIA certified and CLEET certified, the ability to arrest nontribal members on tribal lands," said State Senator Susan Paddack.

Senator Paddack and State Representative Lisa Billy, worked together on the bill for two sessions, and got it signed into law last month.

She says it will help stop those criminals who take advantage of federal trust lands' legal loopholes.

"There were crimes and criminals that were rather clever sometimes about knowing where to do the crime and getting into those jurisdictional issues, and so this is important because it's going to provide better public safety across our state," Paddack said.

Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Chief Randy Wesley says the law improves efficiency.

"We won't have to wait because there have been many times that a sheriff department or police department will be called, and if they were on other calls then we would have to wait until they got there. This will allow us to take action immediately," said Wesley.

The law will go into effect on November 1st.

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