Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Agreement with county would clear way for Suquamish Police to enforce state law


SUQUAMISH — On the Port Madison Indian Reservation, which has Native and non-Native American residents, the issue of law enforcement jurisdiction is often a challenge.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, Tribal police only have jurisdiction over Native Americans, even on reservations. So, if a Suquamish Police officer detains a suspect who is not Native American, the officer has to wait until state police or sheriff’s deputies arrive to take over. For a 911 call from the reservation, CenCom customarily dispatches Suquamish Police and a Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy, who determine at the scene who has jurisdiction.

This is also a challenge for Kitsap County Sheriff’s officers; there are only two assigned to North Kitsap.


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