By JONAH LOSSIAH
One Feather Staff
The EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) Police Commission held their Sept. 8 meeting and focused on updates from programs.
They had asked on multiple occasions to have Jeremy Brown, interim director of the EBCI Office of Information Technology, attend a meeting. Brown was present and said that he had positive updates for the Commissioners. He said that the Cherokee Indian Police Department (CIPD) and other emergency services are currently preparing and testing the new technology they have been waiting on for months.
“The body cameras are one piece of the upgrade to the entire emergency services fleet. When I say emergency services, I mean police, fire, and EMS. We have installed cradle points in all of the vehicles, and we have successfully gotten those configured to where now all of the vehicles that are on-site will be on the Tribal network anywhere, they have cell signal,” said Brown.
Brown said that the CIPD has tested multiple companies now, and the consensus preference lies with Axon products. Once all the final decisions are made and all the paperwork is sorted, Brown said that they are expecting a 60-to-90-day turnaround on getting order.
“We’re going to be looking at their storage and how they integrate with the cradle points and how they integrate with our in-building wireless. Getting everything ready so that when they show up, they work right out of the box,” said Brown.
Shane Davis, from EBCI Animal Control, also came to the meeting to provide a report. He said that in the month August his staff had picked up 117 dogs and 49 cats. He said that several individuals paid fines to get their animals back, and that they managed to adopt out 17 dogs and three cats. The department brought in $2,075 in fines throughout the month.
This sparked the Commission to ask where that money goes. Davis said that money does not go to Animal Control, but instead it goes directly to the General Fund. He followed that by saying that he has a proposition for a change.
“I think we should take the fine money and put it towards spay and neuter for the public. Because let’s take a negative and turn it into a positive. For every dollar that comes it, could go towards people getting their animals fixed,” said Davis.
The Commission was fully in support of this idea and pledged that they would do whatever Animal Control needed to assist in getting that amendment made.
Freshly sworn-in Chief of Police Carla Neadeau offered her report, but not before the Commission gave her a congratulations and round of applause for formally taking the mantle for the CIPD. She said that there had been some shifting of positions at the Police Department to accommodate staff and to allow a chance for some internal promotion. She touched on some of the focused problem areas in the community and said that she has done her best to listen to requests and complaints from community members. She mentioned an issue she is now looking to address is satisfying some complaints of coverage in Snowbird.
The CIPD August monthly report offered the following:
- Calls for Service – 1669
- Arrests – 68
- Citations – 141
- Drug Arrests – 6
- Federal Cases – 0
- Tribal Cases – 4
- State Cases – 2
- Cash Seized – $0
- Firearms Seized – 1
- Fatal Overdoses – 0
- Nonfatal Overdoes – 9
- Drugs Seized – Street Value
- 369g Processed Marijuana – $7,380
- 5g MDMA – $50
- 9g Crystal Meth – $1,180
- 5g opioid/opioid derivative – $29,700
- TOTAL – $38,310
- Total Street Value of Drugs Seized in FY22 – $473,068.2
The other visitors to the meeting were Shelli Buckner, from the Tribal Prosecutors Office, and Jonah Bird, from Natural Resources Enforcement (NRE).
The Thursday, Sept. 8 meeting of the EBCI Police Commission was called to order just after 12 p.m. with Chairperson Tunney Crowe; Secretary Anita Lossiah; and Commissioners Kym Parker, Solomon Saunooke, and Hillary Norville present. Vice Chair Buddy Johnson and Commissioners Lisa Taylor and Dunn were all excused absences for the meeting.
The next meeting of the Police Commission is set for Thursday, Oct. 13 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 tribal members until the Commission moves into an executive session.