Police Commission holds first meeting of 2022

by Feb 11, 2022NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments



One Feather Staff


The EBCI Police Commission held its first meeting of the year on Thursday, Feb. 10. With most departments unavailable to report, the open session of the meeting was completed in just over 30 minutes.

The only report to the Commission came from Shelli Buckner of the EBCI Tribal Prosecutors Office. She said that the biggest recent development is that there has been a change to allow the Tribal Prosecutors to bring misdemeanors to a bench trial. Previously, the Prosecutors had no option to call any case to trial. She said this option will mean a lot more trials but that it should expedite the process at the Cherokee Court. Buckner also mentioned the development of Ordinance 139, which was read and tabled at Tribal Council this month. This ordinance would begin to implement defense services at Tribal Court through the Legal Assistance Office.

Chris Siewers, from the EBCI Office of the Attorney General (AG), was also at the meeting. He told the Commission that he and others in the AG’s office have been working on amendments to the code regarding banishments. Siewers said that they were hoping to finalize these changes to get them submitted this month. He promised that if everything went smoothly, he would be bringing the documents to next month’s meeting.

Siewers also provided an update regarding a tribal member who had been having jurisdictional issues with someone trespassing on their property. The problem surrounded ‘checkerboard property’ in Graham County. The tribal member’s property is on tribal land but is surrounded by state land. Authorities did not know how to handle the offense by the non-tribal person involved.

Siewers said that Tribal Council had banished this non-tribal individual in December. He also said that the tribal member was having good communication with the Graham County district attorney and that things were moving in a positive direction.

The Police Commission finished the open session by discussing what reports they would require by next month. They decided that they would want to hear from the Police Department and Police Chief Josh Taylor, the Tribal Prosecutors Office, and Jeremy Brown to discuss body and vehicle cameras for the Police Department.

The Commission moved into a closed session for the remainder of the meeting.

The meeting of the EBCI Police Commission was called to order just after 12 p.m. with Chairperson Tunney Crowe; Vice Chair Buddy Johnson; and Commissioners Lisa Taylor, Kym Parker, Solomon Saunooke, and Hillary Norville present. Commissioner Frank Dunn was a few minutes late to the meeting. Secretary Anita Lossiah was an excused absence for the meeting, with Chairperson Crowe stating that she had a conflicting meeting with the State Attorney General’s Office.

The next meeting of the Commission is set for Thursday, March 10 at noon. The Commission gathers monthly and has been meeting in the large conference room at the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex. These sessions are open to the public.