Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune yesterday made a direct appeal to the Director of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to waive a requirement that is currently impeding the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from receiving much-needed COPS funding to fight crime and drug abuse.

Current regulations require Pine Ridge to match COPS grants with tribal money in order to receive funding. As it stands, Pine Ridge, which is consistently rated as one of the poorest communities in the nation, is unable to afford the matching funds requirement and therefore risks receiving none of the grant money from COPS.

Senator Thune called COPS Director Carl Peed and requested that he waive the matching fund requirement so that Pine Ridge is able to receive the COPS grant money.

"The public safety situation on Pine Ridge is very concerning and community efforts in place to fight crime and abuse must be sustained and strengthened," Thune said. "The community of Pine Ridge relies heavily on grant funding from the COPS program to hire, train and equip tribal law enforcement officers, but they risk losing this much-needed funding because they are unable to afford the current matching funds requirement attached to COPS grants.

"In the past, COPS has waived matching fund requirements for those communities in financial distress, and Pine Ridge fits into that category. I spoke with COPS Director Carl Peed yesterday and asked him to waive this requirement so Pine Ridge can be awarded the two grants they are currently scheduled to receive. I'm hopeful Mr. Peed will honor my request so tribal law enforcement can continue to work to prosecute criminals and ensure a safer environment for all of the families of Pine Ridge."