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Crow Creek Tribe, highway patrol set joint pow-wow enforcement plan

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FORT THOMPSON -- The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and South Dakota Highway Patrol will conduct a joint law-enforcement operation during the tribe's upcoming pow-wow scheduled Friday through Sunday.

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Seven Highway Patrol troopers, two with police service dogs, will assist tribal police during the weekend pow-wow. Acting on a resolution from the tribal council, Crow Creek Chairman Brandon Sazue invited the Highway Patrol to help with enforcement issues.

"This year is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Fort Thompson, and we anticipate a huge crowd for the pow-wow,'' Sazue said. "The public safety of our residents and visitors is paramount, so we asked for assistance. This joint tribal-state operation is a monumental step in cooperation.''

The troopers will coordinate their part of the operation with Scott Shields, police chief for the BIA Crow Creek Agency. The council's resolution says the troopers will have authority to enforce tribal law. On Thursday, the tribe and the state will sign a memorandum of understanding for the operation.

"Chairman Sazue and Chief Shields reached out to us to help them with law-enforcement for this major event, and we are excited to be able to work together with them,'' said Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. "In law enforcement and public safety, the more often we can cooperate, the better the outcome for everyone.''

Sazue said the additional officers will help tribal police with drug enforcement and other law-enforcement issues. A local group, Community Coalition against Drugs, is encouraging an aggressive enforcement and education program.

"We are hopeful this cooperative agreement could be the foundation for a long-term relationship that benefits all citizens of this area,'' Sazue said.

The troopers involved in the operation will be sworn in by Tribal Judge Steve Emery on Thursday after a training and orientation program. Troopers assigned to the pow-wow generally will be from the central part of the state.

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