Pokagon Potawatomi Police Become Cross Deputized with St. Joseph County Sheriff Department

Pokagon Chairman John Warren with Sheriff

Pokagon Chairman John Warren with Sheriff Michael D. Grzegorek of St. Joseph County

Published December 4, 2015

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is pleased to announce that it has completed a historic cross deputation agreement between its Tribal Police and the St. Joseph County Police, based in South Bend, Indiana.

10 Pokagon Band Tribal Police Officers and more than 35 St. Joseph County Deputies were sworn in yesterday, Thursday, December 3, 2015 so that they can work cooperatively to enforce the laws of each jurisdiction. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Council Chambers of the County City Building in South Bend.

This cross deputation agreement establishes a relationship for cooperative law enforcement and is the first such agreement in the state of Indiana. While its tribal headquarters is located in Dowagiac, Michigan, some of its tribal lands extend into the state of Indiana. The Pokagon Band is the only federally-recognized American Indian tribe in Indiana.

The cross deputation agreement 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.

“The Pokagon Band already has cross deputation agreements with police departments in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties in Michigan. Our Tribal Police Department assists these law enforcement agencies with improved technology, shared training, and the day-to-day business of police work,” said John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “Our cooperative relationship with the St. Joseph County Police Department will act in the same way as our successful agreements with police departments in Michigan.”

“We are honored to be working with Chief William Lux and the Pokagon Band Police Department in this landmark agreement,” Sheriff Michael D. Grzegorek of St. Joseph County added.

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