Criminology Term Paper
"Native American Tribal Police"
"Native American Tribal Police"
Though often cast aside and treated as sub humans in history, the people of Native American tribes have remained a solid and well established part of this country. In addition, the Native American Tribal Police offer an authentic contribution to the history of police in the United States that is often overlooked at purely medicinal and magic based. Furthermore, the Navajo Nation Police contributes the largest independent force on tribal land, and the contributions of the Navajo people in general helped to win World War II for the United States.
On a personal note, I was surprised to discover in my initial research that the US Government still used the term “Indian” to describe the people of the Native American lands.
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American Tribes and Alaska Natives.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is one of two bureaus under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs: the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, which provides education services to approximately 48,000 Native Americans.
The BIA serves the 567 federally recognized tribes through four offices:
The Office of Indian Services: They operate the BIA’s general assistance, disaster relief, Indian child welfare, tribal government, Indian Self-Determination, and Indian Reservation Roads Program.
The Office of Justice Services (OJS): They operate or funds law enforcement, tribal courts, and detention facilities on federal Indian lands. OJS funded 208 law enforcement agencies, consisting of 43 BIA-operated police agencies, and 165 tribally operated agencies under contract, or compact with the OJS. The office has seven areas of activity: Criminal Investigations and Police Services, Detention/Corrections, Inspection/Internal Affairs, Tribal Law Enforcement and Special Initiatives, the Indian Police Academy, Tribal Justice Support, and Program Management. The OJS also provides oversight and technical assistance to tribal law enforcement programs when and where requested. It operates four divisions: Corrections, Drug Enforcement, the Indian Police Academy, and Law Enforcement.
The Office of Trust Services: They work with tribes and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives in the management of their trust lands, assets, and resources.
The Office of Field Operations: They oversee 12 regional offices; Alaska, Great Plains, Northwest, Southern Plains, Eastern, Navajo, Pacific, Southwest, Eastern Oklahoma, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Western; and 83 agencies, which carry out the mission of the Bureau at the tribal level.
The BIA- OJS is responsible for the protection of lives, resources, and property which lies at the heart of the BIA's law enforcement effort. BIA-OJS fully supports the Secretary's ongoing commitment to safe and healthy Indian communities. Under the direction of the Deputy BIA Director , OJS is responsible for the overall management of the Bureau's law enforcement program. Its main goal is to uphold the constitutional sovereignty of the Federally recognized Tribes and preserve peace within Indian country.
The office has six areas of activity:
Criminal Investigations and Police Services
Detention/Corrections, Inspection/Internal Affairs
Tribal Law Enforcement and Special Initiatives
The Indian Police Academy
Tribal Justice Support
The OJS also provides oversight and technical assistance to tribal law enforcement programs when and where requested. The OJS has primary responsibility for the investigation of crimes that occur in Indian country. Currently the office develops standards, policies and procedures for BIA-wide implementation, operates the Indian Police Academy, monitors tribally contracted justice services programs, directly operates law enforcement programs for tribes who do not run their own programs, conducts inspections and evaluation of BIA and Tribal Justice Services programs, conducts internal investigations of misconduct by law enforcement officers, provides emergency tactical response teams to reservations requiring assistance, or threatened with disruptions or civil disorder, conducts criminal investigations into criminal violations committed on reservations involving Federal, State, County, Local and Tribal codes.
Indian Country Corrections is one of the key components of Tribal Justice Systems. There are over 90 detention centers throughout Indian Country, of which, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Office of Justice Services staffs and operates a quarter of these facilities. Each facility is unique in operation and location. The BIA Corrections also operates transport programs for movement of inmates for certain locations as well as assist with long range transports, movement of inmates during evacuations, overcrowding and as needed. The ultimate mission of BIA/OJS Corrections is ensuring Indian Country facilities are operated in a safe, secure, and humane manner.
The BIA Correctional Program provides Technical Assistance to all detention programs, including tribal detention programs.
Bureau of Indian Affairs Police
The Bureau of Indian Affairs Police, known as the BIA Police, is the law enforcement arm of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs which polices Indian tribes and reservations that do not have their own police force, and oversees other tribal police organizations. BIA Police services are provided through the Office of Justice Services Division of Law Enforcement.
A BIA Police Officer is a federal police officer who enforces federal law relating to Indian Country. The BIA has nationwide jurisdiction to enforce federal law relating to crimes committed within or involving Indian Country and officers are usually found near the various Indian reservations. BIA Police Officers may enforce tribal law if the tribe consents by deputizing the BIA and its officers. In some cases, BIA Police Officers are granted authority to enforce tribal law by tribal ordinance or statute. They may also be granted authority to enforce state laws by state statute.
The BIA has hiring preferences for Native Americans, but will hire nonmembers who have the proper qualifications or educational requirements.
The Division of Operations consists of six regional Districts with 208 Bureau and tribal law enforcement programs employing 3,000 police officers. Of the 208 programs, 43 are operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The operations division consists of telecommunications, uniformed police and criminal investigations.
Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the District offices are located in:
Aberdeen, South Dakota (District I)
Muskogee, Oklahoma (District II)
Phoenix, Arizona (District III)
Albuquerque, New Mexico (District IV)
Billings, Montana (District V)
Nashville, Tennessee (District VI)
The BIA Police Officers respond to calls concerning felonies and misdemeanors under Federal, State, local and tribal laws, they Investigate, apprehend, arrest, and detain all persons.
They respond to calls concerning emergencies such as traffic accidents, domestic violence and disorderly conduct. They maintain law and order within the area of assignments by patrolling in a patrol vehicle, investigating suspicious situations, and taking action as appropriate. They perform such assignments as working radar on busy highways, participating in night surveillance in high crime areas, and participating in traffic and crowd control activities. They make arrests in cases of crime or misdemeanors which they personally witnessed; they take persons arrested to appropriate authorities for booking or formal charging.
BIA Officers also enforce all laws and regulations within his/her authority related to possession, use, distribution, trafficking and manufacturing of controlled substances.
BIA Police serve federal, state, or local or tribal warrants, subpoenas and other court papers; testifies at hearings and trials as an expert witness in federal, state, local or tribal courts as required; and prepares and submits reports of incidents or traffic accidents, daily and weekly activities, and narratives and statistical reports as required.
BIA Police Special Agents/Criminal Investigators investigate a wide range of criminal activity including homicide, rape, sexual abuse, and assaults. These types of investigations may include activities such as surveillance, undercover operations, affecting arrests, evidence collection, search warrant execution, interviewing, Grand Jury appearances, case preparation, and trials involving criminal defendants in both federal and tribal court. Special Agents are also involved in various activities, such as special task forces combating illegal drugs, emergency operations task forces, and providing disaster relief and support to other agencies and departments.
Navajo Nation Police
The Navajo Nation Police is the law enforcement agency on the Navajo Nation in the Southwestern United States. It is under the Navajo Division of Public Safety. It is headed by a Chief of Police, six Police Captains and eight Police Lieutenants. It includes: Internal Affairs, Patrol, K-9 Unit, Police diving, Tactical Operations Team, Traffic Unit, Fiscal management, Recruitment, and Training Divisions. The Navajo Nation Police are responsible for seven districts: Chinle, Crownpoint, Dilkon, Kayenta, Shiprock, Tuba City, and Window Rock.
There are also several substations in each district ranging from one man substations or up to five officers each. Currently, there are 210 police officers, 45 criminal investigators and 279 civilians, acting as support staff for the department. The Navajo Nation Police are funded by federal contracts and grants and general Navajo Nation funds. This police department is one of only two large Native American police Departments with 100 or more sworn officers in the United States.
The Navajo Rangers are an organization of the Navajo Nation in the Southwestern United States, which maintain and protect the tribal nation's public works and natural resources. The Rangers form a part of the Navajo Nation Department of Resource Enforcement (within the Division of Natural Resources), and currently consists of 16 officers in four different field locations. The Rangers also serve as a park service, protecting natural and historical sites and assisting travelers.
Navajo Code Talkers During World War II
As 1942 dawned, World War II was not going well for America and her Allies. Japanese carrier-borne bombers and fighters had crippled the U.S. Navy’s proud Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; attacked American bases in the Philippines and on Guam; and were intent on seizing other island bases in the south and central Pacific. In Europe, France had fallen to Germany’s blitzkrieg, and stalwart Britain was still staggering from the Nazis’ relentless nighttime bombing during the previous year.
In February 1942, after formulating his idea, Philip Johnston traveled south to Camp Elliott near San Diego, where he tried to convince Lieutenant Colonel James E. Jones, the Marines’ Signal Corps Communications Officer, that a code based on the Navajo language could not be broken by the enemy. Jones, after listening intently to Johnston’s idea, responded: ‘In all the history of warfare, that has never been done. No code, no cipher is completely secure from enemy interception. We change our codes frequently for this reason.’ But Johnston’s graphic presentation proved so convincing that the two men agreed to set up a test.
Returning to Los Angeles, Johnston spent nearly two weeks seeking bilingual Navajos from among that city’s population. On February 28, 1942, he returned to Camp Elliott with four Indians in order to prove their linguistic capability before a group of skeptical Marine staff officers. Sent in pairs to separate rooms, the first two Navajos were given a typical military field order to transmit in their own language to the others several doors away. When retranslated back into English, the message received by the second pair proved to be an accurate copy of the order as it was given. The Marines were amazed at the speed and accuracy of the interpretation, and the presentation was pronounced a complete success.
The group of Navajos who reported for basic training at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot had never experienced any sort of military discipline, and several found it difficult to cope with their new lifestyle. Although now officially designated the 382nd Platoon, U.S. Marine Corps, at boot camp, the group was referred to as ‘The Navajo School.’
At Camp Pendleton, the Navajos, in addition to their other duties, were required to devise a new Marine Corps military code which, when transmitted in their own language, would completely baffle their Japanese enemies. The code’s words had to be short, easy to learn, and quick to recall. After working long and hard on the project, the men devised a two-part code. The first part, a 26-letter phonetic alphabet, used Navajo names for 18 animals or birds, plus the words ice for I, nut for N, quiver for Q, Ute for U, victor for V, cross for X, yucca for Y, and zinc for Z. The second part consisted of a 211-word English vocabulary and the Navajo equivalents. This code, when compared with conventional Marine Corps codes, offered considerable savings in time, since the latter involved lengthy encoding and deciphering procedures by Signal Corps cryptographic personnel using sophisticated electronic equipment.
Eventually, Navajo code talkers served with all six Marine divisions in the Pacific and with Marine Raider and parachute units as well. Praise for their work became lavish and virtually endless as they participated in major Marine assaults on the Solomons, the Marianas, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima.
Commenting on the Marines’ Iwo Jima landing, Major Howard Conner, the Fifth Marine Division’s Signal Officer, said:
‘The entire operation was directed by Navajo code. During the two days that followed the initial landings I had six Navajo radio nets working around the clock.They sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.’
Conversation with Chester Nez, Code Talker from “Armchair General” magazine article following autobiography. Interviewer is Tim Tow.
Here is a brief description of the book and the interviewer’s role in the article.
“After Tim Tow reviewed the book Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII for Armchair General, we asked Tim to conduct this interview with the authors, Chester Nez and Judith Schiess Avila. Tim has studied the history of military intelligence and writes on technology and military affairs. Watch for his upcoming article "The Rise and Fall of the American Heavy Tank" on ArmchairGeneral.com.”
Tim Tow (to Chester Nez): Are there some common misperceptions about the Navajo code talkers that you wish to correct?
Chester Nez: Many people think that the code talkers simply spoke Navajo, when we actually developed a doubly encrypted code utilizing both English and Navajo.
Also, some people think that we were "special" Marines who didn’t have to go through basic training. In reality, we all went through basic, just like any other Marine recruit. On the reservation we led a very physical life, so basic training was tough, but not too tough.
TT: Is there any incident from your time as a code talker that particularly stands out in your memory?
CN: We were constantly warned that we couldn’t get captured—because the Japanese would torture us to learn about our code. It’s ironic that I was "captured" by American Army troops while on the island of Angaur. They put a .45 pistol to my head and accused me of being a Japanese soldier impersonating a Marine. Luckily, the communications officer stepped in before any real damage was done.
TT: With your perspective on Navajo and mainstream American culture, what do you regard as the biggest strengths of each?
CN: Our code combined the strengths of each—the complexity of Navajo, further compounded by utilizing English words translated into Navajo as an alphabet. The Japanese never broke our code—the only unbroken code in modern warfare.
(My note: I have ordered a copy of this book, and it is yet to arrive. I eagerly look forward to reading the entire book.)
In conclusion, it is obvious to me that the police departments on the Native American lands contribute a great deal to the police society in this country, and they do their jobs with professionalism and training and perspective much like the rest of the police forces in this country. The Navajo people and the Navajo police have proven to worthy of equal status with the rest of the citizens of the United States, and history needs to remember the extreme importance and dedication and sacrifice their people made to the winning of World War II.