“Historic day”: First female Cherokee Chief of Police sworn-in

by Sep 1, 2022NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Staff


After serving in the interim spot since late June, Carla Neadeau has been appointed and was officially sworn-in as the Chief of Police of the Cherokee Indian Police Dept. (CIPD) on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 1.  She took the oath of office from Cherokee Judge Barbara “Sunshine” Parker at the beginning of Tribal Council’s regular session.

Carla Neadeau, center, shown with her husband, Roger Neadeau, left, takes the oath of office as the new Cherokee Chief of Police from Cherokee Judge Barbara “Sunshine” Parker in the Tribal Council Chambers on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 1. (ROBERT JUMPER/One Feather photo)

“I just want to thank everybody for giving me the chance to do this and lead our department,” Chief Neadeau told Council on Thursday.  “Our department wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for our officers.  I can’t take all the credit for that.  I give my credit to my officers because they’ve been outstanding.”

Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed said, “The reality is that for law enforcement officers and for corrections officers, every day they place their life on the line.  This is an historic day.  She will be the first female Chief of Police for the Eastern Band so it’s an historic day for her.  It’s an historic day for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.”

Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley said, “She’s done an outstanding job – her and the former Chief of Police (Josh Taylor).  He started it in the right direction, and she’s picked up right in the direction he’s put us in.  She’s done an excellent job.  She’s the first female Chief of Police we’ve ever had and a long-term police officer of our department.  I’m just proud of Carla.  She’s a good friend of mine, and I just want to congratulate her.”

Cherokee Co. – Snowbird Rep. Bucky Brown noted, “I’d like to say congratulations to Carla.  You’ll be a big asset to the Tribe, and I know you have already made your mark in Snowbird.”

Following her swearing-in, Chief Neadeau, who started at the CIPD in 2009, told the One Feather she’s excited to tackle the challenges associated with the job.  “I look forward to it.  I know it’s not going to be easy.  There will be bumps in the road, but I’m looking forward to it, and I know I can do it.  And, I have a great staff.  I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for our workers.”

When asked what some of her immediate actions will be, she noted, “Get our Community Response Team out there working and get them out there doing their license checks and focusing on our drug areas of the communities.  So, that hopefully will be done in the next few weeks.  And, we want to get the rest of our force hired.  We’re working with HR right now to do the state retirement, get that back out there for our officers so that they can get them hired.”

Later in the session, Chief Neadeau presented Res. No. 396 (2022) which adds 16 new positions to the CIPD and Cherokee Corrections Program.  The legislation passed unanimously and adds the following positions:

  • Cherokee Indian Police Dept.
  • one detective reporting to Sergeant – Investigations
  • two assistant chief of police report to the chief of police
  • 10 patrol officers reporting to Sergeant – Patrol
  • one victim advocate reporting to lieutenant – investigations
  • Cherokee Corrections Program
  • one compliance officer reporting to the Corrections captain
  • two maintenance technicians reporting to the Corrections captain