WPR News
10:28 am
Fri May 18, 2007

Crime Up on Reservations; Wyoming Highlighted for Lack of Funding

Washington, D.C. – Wyoming is at the heart of Congress' attempt to lower crime on Indian Reservations. Jodi Breisler reports from Capitol Hill. The law enforcement arm of the Bureau of Indian Affairs or BIA has less than one-third of the officers it needs. Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas says that's obvious in Wyoming. Seven, seven officers for 2.3 million acres Wyoming United States Attorney Matthew Mead testified before Thomas' Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He says he's concerned about the effect the lack of funding will have on the high rate of crimes against Native Americans. The magnitude of crime against Native Americans is a tragedy. Not just for the victims and the victims' families but for all of us collectively. Because Native Americans provide so much history, culture and leadership to our country. The government says most crimes on tribal lands relate to drug use- especially methamphetamine- and domestic violence. Besides just the funding for police officers, Thomas and other Senators are concerned that the Administration completely cut funding for drug courts. They plan to act in June.