State of Emergency Declared on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Published May 1, 2017

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION — After a series of drug-related crimes committed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council last Monday declared a state of emergency and withdrew its support of Police Chief Harry Martinez.

Martinez has since resigned and has been replaced by Mark Mesteth to serve as interim police chief. Mesteth held the position before Martinez.

Since 2008, the police department has had eight chiefs of police. It is a police force that now has 30 officers patrolling the three million-acres reservation – down from 100 tribal police officers a few years ago.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council also disbanded the Public Safety Board which oversaw the tribal police. Now the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council serves in that capacity.

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