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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country recently.

FCC Seeking Comment on Adding a Missing and Endangered Persons 

On March 15, 2024, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 24-30, seeking comment on its proposal to adopt a new Emergency Alert System (EAS) event code for Missing and Endangered Persons (MEP).

The EAS is a national public warning system, through which TV and radio broadcasters, cable systems, and other service providers deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies and dangers to life and property.  The proposed new MEP event code will allow for the transmission of “ASHANTI alerts” associated with missing or abducted persons from states, territories, or tribal communities that fall outside of America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert notification criteria to the public over the EAS.

While a widespread concern, the issue of missing and endangered persons is particularly prevalent in Tribal communities, where American Indian and Alaska Native people are at a disproportionate risk of experiencing violence, murder, or vanishing.  In November 2023, the National Congress of American Indians adopted a resolution calling for the FCC to establish an MEP event code.  The FCC proposes adopting the new MEP event code to facilitate the rapid and coordinated delivery of alert notifications about missing and endangered persons to the public in a uniform and consistent manner and is seeking public comment on this proposal.

Comments and reply comments for the NPRM will be due 30 and 60 days, respectively, after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register.

If you would like to file comments, you may file them using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/standard under proceeding PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94, or email [email protected].

GSA receives $9 Million to Design a New Facility for National Archives in the Puget Sound 

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will receive $9 million to design a new, federally-owned facility for NARA to continue to house archival records of critical and historic importance to local and state agencies, Tribal Nations, higher education institutions, researchers, scientists, and students.

The generations of history and artifacts stored in the Seattle Archives facility are critical to telling the story of the Pacific Northwest, especially for Tribes in our region – which is why I’ve fought to ensure these records remain accessible to folks here in Washington state,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said.

The current National Archives facility in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle stores more than 58,000 cubic feet of archival records available for use by the public. The facility was constructed in 1946 and, due to its age, is nearing the end of its suitability for archival use.

Seventh Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing

The Department of Justice has launched the Seventh Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing. This award recognizes individual state, local, or tribal sworn, rank-and-file police officers, deputies, and troopers for exceptional efforts in innovations in community policing, criminal investigations, and field operations that have proven effective in enforcing our laws.

The Department is requesting nominations for the Seventh Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing. The nomination period is now open and will close on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 8 p.m. (ET). Detailed information regarding the nomination process for this award is now available at www.justice.gov/ag/policing-award.  

Nominations may be submitted by the potential recipient’s supervisors, professional peers, or members of their local community. Nominations may include references and URL links to news sources and promotional or other materials that describe or substantiate the activity, program, or initiative for which the nominee(s) is being nominated. Please note: Nominees (rank-and-file officers, deputies, and troopers) must be in a non-supervisory position at the time the nominated event, activities, and/or programs occurred to be an eligible candidate for this award.

Nominations must be submitted through the web-based application form in the following format. Nominations are limited to 5 officers/deputies per nomination. The online application will direct the nominating individuals to complete the following fields:

1. Name and rank of nominee(s) (must be rank-and-file officers, deputies, or troopers in a nonsupervisory position), the lead agency name, and the size of population served by the agency

2. Name and affiliation of the nominating individual

3. Nomination category for the action(s), program(s), or initiative(s) for which the nominee(s) is being nominated (Criminal Investigations, Field Operations, or Innovations in Policing)

4. A detailed description of the specific action(s), program(s), or initiative(s) of the nominee(s) for which s/he is being nominated

5. Agency point of contact information

To nominate someone for this award, please visit https://www.justice.gov/ag/webform/policing-award-nomination. Nominations must be submitted by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 6, 2024. In the event that agencies or other nominating parties are unable to access the online application, nomination letters may be sent via email. The nomination letter should be no longer than two pages and should include the fields listed in the nomination form. Nominations submitted in letter format must be sent via email to [email protected] by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 6, 2024.

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