A new Bureau of Justice Statistics report on tribal crime data says the number of Indian country suspects investigated by U.S. attorneys for violence dropped 3%, while those investigated for property crime increased by 57%.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry Jacobson says her office in Lander is also looking into more non-violent crimes on Wind River Reservation than in the past.
"Property crimes were going uninvestigated or at least under investigated because we had too many violent crimes, we couldn't bother, we couldn't take the time to prosecute property crimes. The same goes for fraud, embezzlement, we never in my first 9 years here found the time or had the resources to reach a fraud or an embezzlement case because we had too much violent crime."
Jacobsen says Tribal court has more non-felony cases to deal with. She attributes this to the federal High-Priority Performance Goal program, or The Surge, which gave funding to add law enforcement officers on Wind River.
Before the initiative Wind River had 6 police officers – now there are 25.