Fort Belknap Indian community selected to help improve crime databases


The Indian community of Fort Belknap was one of 12 tribes selected by the Department of Justice to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information.

The program helps tribal governments access, enter, and exchange data with national crime information systems, including systems operated by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

Acting US Prosecutor Leif Johnson said access to the program will allow the Indian community of Fort Belknap “to enter and share information on missing persons in the National Missing Persons Database and enter and exchange various other information with law enforcement agencies across the country to help make the community safer.

Representatives of the Fort Belknap Indian community were not immediately available for comment.

The program provides software and workstations for processing fingerprints, taking photos, and submitting information to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services.

Other tribes recently selected to participate in the program include: Confederate Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, Havasupai Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe , Menominee Tribe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Muckleshoot Tribe, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.

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With these recent additions, there are 108 federally recognized tribes in the Tribal Access Program.

The Tribal Access Program was created in 2015 after tribal leaders expressed the need for direct access to federal systems.

For more information on the program, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

Nora Mabie covers Indigenous communities for the Great Falls Tribune. She can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on facebook @NoraMabieJournalist or on Twitter @NoraMabie.

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