APD hosts Tribal and Metro Public Safety Summit

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico law enforcement agencies are continuously working to strengthen relationships with tribal law enforcement.

Many tribal communities struggle with resources, and that’s what prompted a summit this week with metro, tribal, and federal agencies.

For the second year in a row, the Albuquerque Police Department, along with city partners, hosted their Tribal and Metro Public Safety Summit Wednesday.

“We’re hoping to do more collaborative effort with them and also work on communicating with them more in their space and working a little more with them outside of Albuquerque,” said Chief Harold Medina with the Albuquerque Police Department.

11 tribal agencies, five metro public safety agencies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and their federal partners were all at the summit. One of the main focuses was how they can help MMIP and tribal communities with these cases.

“There may be individuals that have information on them that are within the city so a lot of times tribal agencies will reach out to our liaisons and they will ask them for assistance in locating somebody that they are looking for, tracking somebody down that they need to interview and we will assist them in those ways,” said Medina.

Tribal leaders also talked about the importance of law enforcement learning their customs and values.

They also talked about jurisdiction and how it impacts what tribal law enforcement can and can’t do.

“I think most law enforcement agencies do not realize that jurisdiction is a big issue for a lot of tribal agencies and if they don’t have some kind of commission how are they going to enforce the law on non-natives on tribal lands?” he said.

Last year APD had its first tribal officer graduate from the department’s detective academy, and they want to invite more tribal officers this year.

“We would also like to get more tribal agencies in the NIBIN Program, we would also like to do more information sharing for our Real Time Crime Center. Our goal has always been to make the regional crime time center a regional thing for central New Mexico,” said Chief Medina.