A swearing-in ceremony was held on Monday, Tsiothóhrha/December 10, 2018 to welcome Gilbert Terrance, Steve Thomas, Emily Lauzon and Ross Garrow to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Commission. Pictured are Police Commissioners (from left) Gilbert Terrance, Rena Smoke (current), Steve Thomas, Emily Lauzon, and Ross Garrow
Published December 12, 2018
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe held a swearing-in ceremony in the Community Building Lobby on Monday, Tsiothóhrha/December 10, 2018 to welcome four tribal members to the Police Commission. Tribal Head Judge Carrie Garrow conducted the oath of office for Gilbert Terrance, Steve Thomas, Emily Lauzon and Ross Garrow as each began their staggered terms on the five-member Police Commission.
“I am extremely dedicated to the community of Akwesasne and believe we can achieve our goals with focused leadership, providing fairness at all levels, and a willingness to hear both sides of stories,” said Emily Lauzon. She noted, “I have gained experience from my participation on boards and committees, with the hope of helping improve the partnerships within Akwesasne and the surrounding areas.”
The Tribe conducted a callout during the summer of 2019 for tribal members interested in joining the oversight body as a police commissioner. To be eligible, candidates needed to be an enrolled tribal member and meet all requirements outlined within the Police Commission Act. The callout also required a letter of interest be provided specifying experience in the areas of law enforcement, legal, criminal justice, public safety and/or human resources.
The Tribal Council reviewed the potential candidates and identified those who met the Police Commission membership requirements. As a result, they passed Tribal Council Resolution 2018-52 on Tsiothóhrha/December 5, 2018 naming four tribal members to the following terms as Police Commissioners:
Police Commissioner Term Expiration Date
Gilbert Terrance December 5, 2019
Steve Thomas December 5, 2021
Emily Lauzon December 5, 2022
Ross Garrow December 5, 2023
Gilbert Terrance received a law degree from the University of Ottawa in 2015 and worked as an Akwesasne Court Administrator, while Steve Thomas served for six years as Public Safety portfolio holder for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and eight years on the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission. Emily Lauzon currently works as Assistant General Manager of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Report and is knowledgeable of compliance and regulatory matters; while Ross Garrow serves as Chief Inspector for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Gaming Commission.
“I have always been interested in police services going back as far as I can remember and held a strong desire to give back to the community that I was born and raised in,” said Ross Garrow. He added, “I believe my past education in Criminal Justice and my nearly 20 years of work experience with the Tribal Gaming Commission have given me the necessary tools to be an asset to the Police Commission.”
The four Police Commissioners join Rena Smoke, whose terms ends in 2020, in overseeing the Tribal Police Department by providing supervision of the Chief of Police, reviewing and providing recommendations on the department’s annual budget, increasing public awareness of the Commission and Police Department, submission of a monthly report to the Tribal Council, and making themselves available to meet with police officers and department personnel.
The Police Commission meets on a monthly basis to hear and respond to reports from the Chief of Police concerning the activities of the Police Department and any community issues that may have developed. They meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the Tribal Council Executive Boardroom. The public is welcome to attend the first 20 minutes.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Commission can be reached by phone at (518) 358-2272 extension 2167 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.