WA House passes bill expanding tribal police jurisdiction

Olympia, Washington (AP) 2-08

A bill that would expand the authority of tribal police has passed the Washington state House after a testy debate on the floor.

Currently, American Indian police officers can’t arrest a non-Indian on tribal land. This bill would give them the authority to do that.

The measure passed the House 58-37 late during mid Febuary and heads to the Senate.

The bill’s supporters say it would require American Indian officers to be certified by the state, and addresses concerns from law enforcement agencies about insurance coverage and sovereignty.

But foes say the measure would circumvent a county sheriff’s authority.