Police Chief offers update to Police Commission

by Mar 21, 2022NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments



One Feather Staff


The majority of the EBCI Police Commission’s last meeting was spent in discussion with Cherokee Indian Police Chief Josh Taylor.

The principal topic that was addressed by Chief Taylor was staffing and personnel. He said that there have been several positions filled and those individuals are settling in. Taylor said that some of the biggest steps that his department could take would be to in some more role-specific staff. One position he was adamant about was an asset/fleet manager.

“That’s a position I need because we have over 100 vehicles. Fire department and EMS add up together, I think, to 60. We have 100 alone, that’s not including the four-wheelers and trailers that we have. I’m running into a huge issue with the radios that I want to go with,” said Taylor.

He said that this is not necessarily a ‘police position’, but it is one that is very important to the department at the moment and as it grows. He said that it’s a position that many other agencies have and that it should have been implemented into the Cherokee Indian Police Dept. (CIPD) much earlier.

“They would handle everything from our in-talk system to our radars, all the way down to service lights on our bulletproof vest. Our bulletproof vests are only good for five years, and right now it’s very sporadic about whose is expired and whose is not.”

Part of this position would be handling the current situation that Taylor has been frustrated with. He said that there has been a significant amount of miscommunication regarding getting his entire staff radios. Taylor said that he just wants people to get on the same page and do what they can to help the Police Department, not get in the way. He said that from his perspective, progress keeps running into obstacles with ‘the good ole boy system’.

“We’re trying to make a difference and it seems like everybody is okay with the culture of being mediocre,” said Taylor.

Another major development was that the CIPD received the test cameras for their officers. The CIPD is set to have body and car cameras for every officer and vehicle on the force. Last month, the Commission requested to have Jeremy Brown at this meeting for an update on those cameras. He was not in attendance but offered an update via email and said that they were still looking at a 6 to 8-week window for delivery.

Taylor also said that he has been in consistent communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that the CIPD just got a big win with them. He said that the FBI have agreed to assign an agent to be in Cherokee to work with them once a week moving forward.

The Police Commission then moved into a closed session with Chief Taylor. They were set to discuss personnel issues as well as particular details of cases. This closed session lasted about 50 minutes.

There were four other guests to the meeting. Tribal prosecutor Cody White was there to give an update. Carla Nadeau was there to answer any questions the Commission had and to offer any further updates for the CIPD. Bill Hollingsed, executive director of the N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police (NCACP), offered an assessment of the CIPD. There is an annual meeting of the NCACP hosted in Cherokee.

Kyler Robbins was present to give an update on Analenisgi and specifically the medication assisted treatment (MAT) program for opioid addiction. He said that the program is going well with a highly assessed, small number of patients. The services of the MAT program include access to clinician, re-entry specialist, and treatment using two drugs: buprenorphine (suboxone) and methadone.

One of the final pieces of business handled by the commission was set times for officer elections. They voted to hold the next election of officers during the April meeting of the Commission, and that moving forward they will occur annually beginning next January.

The Thursday, March 10 meeting of the EBCI Police Commission was called to order just after 12 p.m. with Chairperson Tunney Crowe; Secretary Anita Lossiah; and Commissioners Lisa Taylor, Kym Parker, Solomon Saunooke, and Hillary Norville present. Vice Chair Buddy Johnson was present but a few minutes late.

The next meeting of the Police Commission is set for Thursday, April 21 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.