Recent Press Releases

Thune: Pine Ridge to Receive Much-Needed COPS Money

COPS Director Notifies Thune that Matching Funds Requirement will be Waived

March 15, 2006

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune announced today that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation will be able to continue receiving important law enforcement funding through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

Until today’s decision, regulations required Pine Ridge to match COPS grants with tribal money in order to receive funding. Pine Ridge has been unable to afford the matching funds requirement and therefore faced the prospect of a severe reduction in the number of law enforcement personnel.

Senator Thune made a direct appeal to COPS Director Carl Peed in late February to waive the matching funds requirement for 2006. Mr. Peed notified Senator Thune by phone today that COPS would waive the requirement so Pine Ridge can receive its grant money to fight crime and drug abuse. The tribe will now receive $1.45 million to pay the full cost of the grant, and no local match will be required.

“The public safety challenges on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation make it vitally important that there are sufficient law enforcement personnel on the reservation” said Thune. “I’m grateful COPS Director Carl Peed decided to waive the local match requirement for Pine Ridge so tribal law enforcement can continue to work to prosecute criminals and ensure a safer environment for all of the families of Pine Ridge.

“Together with state and local authorities, we must work together to find a long-term solution to the public safety situation on Pine Ridge and throughout Indian Country.”