Tribes get grant to build police force

GRAND RONDE -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has received a three-year, $655,905 U.S. Department of Justice grant to help build a tribal police force.



GRAND RONDE -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has received a three-year, $655,905 U.S. Department of Justice grant to help build a tribal police force.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council accepted the grant in October, said tribe spokeswoman Siobhan Taylor.

She said Jake McKnight, Grand Ronde's Forest Patrol Officer, has graduated from Oregon's Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Academy and is now in field training with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He will become the tribe's first patrol officer.

Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe said McKnight will complete his field training in mid-December.

Taylor said the executive council has not made final decisions on how to use the grant yet, but the plan is to create a tribal police force supervised by Peter Wakeland, the tribe's development director.

Grand Ronde and the Polk County Sheriff's Office will continue to have an agreement for four deputies to provide patrol out of the department's Grand Ronde substation.

"We have an ongoing relationship with Polk County, which is underscored by Polk County providing field training (for McKnight)," Taylor said. "We look forward to continuing that relationship."

Wolfe said his office is seeking a Spirit Mountain Community Fund grant, as it has in years past, to provide patrols at least through June 2013.

"At this point, it's still business as usual," Wolfe said.



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