Pokagon Band Opens Tribal Police Substation in South Bend

Flags raised at Pokagon Substation Police in South Bend, Indiana

Published November 21, 2017

Establishes a place for public safety and cooperative law enforcement

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians officially opened its Tribal Police Substation in South Bend today. Located at 2906 Prairie Ave., the substation is 4,680 square feet of space for up to 12 law enforcement officers. The substation sits near the sovereign land of the tribal village and Four Winds® South Bend on the city’s southwest side.

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Chairman John P. Warren addresses crowd at opening.

Tribal Police officers have been on duty on and around the Pokagon sovereign land since it was taken into trust in November 2016. The opening of the substation now provides a facility for officers to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once fully staffed, the substation will house one lieutenant, two sergeants, eight officers and a detective. The substation also provides space for St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Deputies and South Bend Police Officers, with whom Tribal Police will work cooperatively to improve public safety.

The Tribal Police entered into a cross deputation agreement with St. Joseph County Police in 2015. The agreement, the first of its kind in the state of Indiana, 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 and better collaborate with improved technology, shared training, and the day-to-day business of police work. The Pokagon Tribal Police are also cross deputized in Van Buren, Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan.

“Our Tribal Police serve as our protectors. On their badges are images of the bear.  For Potawatomi people, the bear clan is responsible for village protection,” said John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “Opening the Tribal Police Substation in our village is an important step in reestablishing our homeland in Indiana.”

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