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USDOJ Praises Riverside Sheriff’s Department for Tribal Best Practices

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Riverside, CA – On April 16 & 17 of this year, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced it had hosted a peer exchange program sponsored and coordinated by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) Office of Justice Programs, to assist the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department from South Dakota.

The purpose of this peer exchange training effort was to highlight how the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department collaboratively partners with local Native American communities to improve relationships and conduct responsive community policing in Indian Country, serving as a national “best practice.”

The USDOJ released its final After-Action Report for that peer exchange program just a few weeks ago.  In the report, USDOJ specifically noted it had selected the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to host the peer exchange based on the “forward-thinking community policing philosophies and distinction as a leader in supporting American Indian communities.”

Sheriff Stan Sniff created this collaborative effort in 2008 with our tribal partners, and established government-to-government relationships with all twelve sovereign Indian nations in Riverside County.  This decade-long effort allowed us to include several local tribal government leaders in this recent peer exchange training program, and gave us the opportunity to showcase tribal government insight into policing in Native American communities for our law enforcement guests from South Dakota and the USDOJ.

The USDOJ After-Action Report summarized the peer exchange program as highly successful, and cited the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department efforts in Native American communities as a nationwide “best practice” in community policing.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is once again honored to be recognized as a leader and innovator in community oriented policing based on the work of the Tribal Liaison Unit (TLU), which Sheriff Stan Sniff established in 2008 with the full support of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.  Even in the face of the recent austere fiscal challenges faced by the Department, the Sheriff has remained steadfast in his support of the TLU and the value of our government-to-government relations with our sovereign partners in keeping our tribal communities as safe as possible.

The TLU’s founding principles are based on improving the levels of public safety services in Riverside county’s tribal communities, building a strong respect for culture, and a recognition of sovereignty.

Sheriff Stan Sniff and our TLU has also been recognized with a James Q. Wilson Award for “excellence in Community Policing” in 2012, and has established a enviable record of close cooperation in addressing a wide variety of local tribal justice needs within Riverside County.

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