Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer
Week of cross training will focus on patrolling a reservation
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — When the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Tribal Police Department Chief Robert Hawkins last spoke about the ramifications of the Royal v. Murphy case possibly upholding MCN’s reservation status, he admitted the scale of service that his department provides could drastically increase to an almost unprecedented level.
In fact, the only comparable situation he could think of his department’s possible level of responsibility would be that of the Navajo Nation.
Bearing this in mind and admitting a desire to be pro-active in handling the situation, LTPD will travel straight to the source for a week of cross training and hands-on observation of how the Navajo Nation Police Department patrols the reservation.
Hawkins along with LTPD Deputy Chief Anthony Wind, Captain of Investigations Jere Lee Smith, Training Coordinator Jason Bleeker and Communications Supervisor Jeffrey Frank will leave for NNPD Headquarters in Window Rock, Arizona April 22.
“We’re trying to be ahead of everything. We don’t want to be behind the eight ball if this decision is upheld,” Hawkins said. “I want my officers as well prepared as we can be to possibly take on this task.”
According to Hawkins, they will start off with a meeting with NNPD administration and will be observing how they interact with outside agencies, handle calls dealing with both their Navajo citizens and non-citizens residing within the reservation and also observing their training and investigation techniques.
“We’re going to have a chance to see how their operation works, from the chief of police all the way down,” Hawkins said. “Their reservation covers a three state area, so it’s very vast. I feel like it’s going to make our agency better prepared to see how a major reservation law enforcement operation is run and compare it to our plan.”
Hawkins also said they will be observing the Navajo Nation’s judicial system to see how the courts are handled in conjunction with the police.
He also noted that communications would be a key aspect of their training.
“We want to see how their dispatchers communicate and provide information to the officers and how they translate that to other outside agencies as well,” Hawkins said.
The group will return home April 28.2 comments