jurisdictional complexity

Honoring Nations: Ken James: The Flandreau Police Department (2005)

Producer
Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Year

Former Flandreau Police Chief Ken James present an overview of the Flandreau Police Department to the Honoring Nations Board of Governors in conjunction with the 2005 Honoring Nations Awards.

People
Resource Type
Citation

James, Ken. "The Flandreau Police Deparment," Honoring Nations Awards event. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Tulsa, Oklahoma. November 1, 2005. Presentation.

Ken James:

"My heart is leaping with joy, with passion that we have an opportunity to come here today to showcase our presentation on our unique city-tribal police partnership that we have in Flandreau, South Dakota. And I want to offer my gratitude and appreciation to the board for allowing us... because what would happen is if we just kept our program to our self, we're not really helping other agencies and other communities across our great nation. And so what we have up here is, I want to show you our logo and what it has there is our police logo, which is our patch. What it does is it identifies our, pretty much our mission statement and how we operate as a police department. That was put together when we first initiated our program by a seventh grader. We wanted the community to take ownership of our department by having the public get involved and a seventh grader drew that and put that together. What it consists of is the...it shows the farm and agricultural community which Flandreau is in Moody County and it also shows on the bottom the river which is called the Big Sioux River which runs right through the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribal reservation and the city of Flandreau and then we also of course have our logo of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. And I'm going to go on and talk a little bit about our history, our jurisdiction and our sustainability as far as our joint police partnership.

As far as I know, we're the only city-tribal police partnership in the United States. That doesn't mean that there are contractual agreements between city and tribes or county and tribes, and so I believe that what we have today, what we're going to present about and talk about and hopefully after the program today, if any of the people in the audience want informational sharing on our program look forward to seeing our representatives that are here or myself. Thank you very much for that. The history of us is that we began in 2000 as a police department. The city and the tribe approached one another and asked about the possibility of putting together a joint police department and what happened... it wasn't nothing unique at first because in the city of Flandreau and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, because of previous joint ventures, they didn't see us as something special at first, and so what they done was they got together and they put together what was called a Public Safety Commission, a nine-member commission. And at that time what they done was the commission members was made up of both tribal members and city representatives. And what they did was they did a feasibility study and they also did some research looking into if it would even be possible. And then in August they got with both the city and tribal councils and they made the recommendation that, they said this will work, this program will work and so they put it together. They put the Public Safety Commission together and then they made the recommendations and then they put together what was called the Joint Powers Agreement. What that was is they put the city language, the city attorney got together with the tribal attorney and they came up with what was called the Joint Powers Agreement. And for those of you who want a copy of that, you just get hold of us, we have it on our email and we'll be glad to send that to you.

So what happened then was when we began in January of 2001 as a police department, we had to put together a standard operating procedures manual. And in that we also had to work on our cross-deputization agreements and that meant that our police department was cross-deputizing with the tribe, through the tribal courts, and we were also cross-deputized through the state. So in Flandreau, if I could step away from the podium for a moment, on some city streets in Flandreau or in some tribal jurisdictions in Flandreau, it depends if you're standing on this side of the street you're on tribal land, if you're over here on this side of the street you're on city or state jurisdiction. So it's a very complex issue but through our training our officers go through we've been able to figure that all out. And then of course we also put together our Mutual Aid Agreements with our law enforcement program. And then in September of 2003 the final piece of that cross-deputization agreements was that the tribe went one step further and they allowed the Moody County Sheriff's Department to be a part of that agreement process and what they've done was the tribe has what's called fee land, which the state has jurisdiction on, and so what happens is the Moody County Sheriff's Department patrols that.

What happened was in July 19th of 2003 during our annual Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Powwow, everything came together in unison and it took an emergency to see everything come together. What happened was we had a fatality accident that happened where several occupants were thrown from the vehicle and we had one 14 year old that had died from the accident. The multiple agency's response to that was primarily we put safety first. We didn't...we weren't bothered, we weren't hindered by jurisdictional issues and the rescue, the fire and rescue responded and so what happened was through that everything was handled accordingly, it went by the book and what happened was out of that, out of that tragedy we got together with the city...tribal prosecutor, the Moody County state's attorney, the local sheriff and myself and we came up with what we call a zero-tolerance policy on underage drinking. We realized the impact that that accident had and we realized with the problems associated with underage drinking in our community, we came up with a zero-tolerance policy. And last we also...we ended up...because the Flandreau community's so small, because of the tragedy it impacted the community. It had a very adverse affect on the community. So what we done was we put together a healing walk and what we did with that was we got together with multi agencies and we put together a march, a walk in memory of the accident and it was also to kind of bring healing to the community.

Our jurisdiction, this is very pivotal here because as you can see up on top it shows our citizens come first as far as our organizational structure and our span of control. The citizens come first. And then it breaks down into our city council, then over it has our tribal council and then if you look down it has our city liaison and our tribal liaison. The city liaison and the tribal liaison, they both serve on the Public Safety Commission and they're kind of...they go back and report the monthly meeting that we have to the respective entities and then of course we have our nine-member Public Safety Commission that breaks down to the Chief of Police, the Sergeant, our police officers, and then of course our citizens again.

Our sustainability and our promising practices of our department: in the past five years we have emerged as a growing respectable police agency in South Dakota, and how we done that was by applying our standard operating procedures. Some of our procedures are nationally accredited policies and procedures that I had adopted from my previous employment. We also applied our community principles into our standard operating procedures and that's pretty much our philosophy and how we approach law enforcement. Then we also, we have our joint law enforcement training. Through training with osmosis, some of our non-Indian officers, I think they receive the best training in the world as far as cultural competency. They understand that they work with the tribe, that we have tribal members and so I think they get the best training as far as cultural sensitivity from our department as to going to maybe a one-week course. We have had, again we've had five years of continued law enforcement operation. We share our joint partnership as a model with other agencies. I think that's pivotal for us here today is that we have stepped forward, we have stepped out of the box and we have moved forward. Just recently we...last month we put on what was called the Great Plains Summit on Meth. In our community, we do have problems just like other jurisdictions and other communities, but we did something about it. We didn't sit on the sidelines and wait for something to happen. We took control and through that it's inspired and it has motivated other tribal communities to go back and start their own task force. Then last, our sovereignty, we have our sovereignty, which is understanding the unique relationship with the tribe, then we have our safety by promoting safety, developing that safety network in our community. And then I think what's equally important is the synergy that goes into that. There's a saying that says, 'A single twig breaks but a bundle of twigs is strong,' and that's the unification of our services as a police department in Flandreau. And then of course our sustainability, staying on task, staying on top of our programs, looking for innovative ways of moving forward into the future. I think that's one of our promising practices is having a visionary response of going forward rather than backwards. And then last is that equals our success as a police department. Thank you very much."

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"Chief Ken James, I'd like to ask you a question and you've given us a good view of the sustainability practices of your police department but I wanted to ask a little bit further, pry a little bit more. What you've accomplished is incredible, but I'm wondering whether or not the program itself would continue at the level of sustainability were it not for you. You seem to be a very dynamic police chief, and obviously you've been part of the success of this whole program. Is there a mentoring aspect of this program that you are cultivating in the event, for instance, you're not there? Second of all, and you touched upon this a little bit, I think what's also phenomenal about this program is that obviously on some levels you've dealt with racism within the community. The community has come together on this and jointly agreed to go forward. Is there still a level of tension related to racism within your community that the police department continues to attempt to address?"

Ken James:

"First, to answer her first question, I'm very privileged and very blessed to the Chief of Police for the city of Flandreau and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. I see myself only as a buffer. I'm the one that polishes and shines. That's what I do best is I polish and shine. It's people in our audience that has attended, come a long way from South Dakota to make this police department a reality. It's coming together and having the integration of the community that first and foremost, they're the ones that seen the vision of this wanting to take shape and take place and I think hiring me as the chief, I came in and I've done what I can. But I'm hoping today that...I'm here to also...I have the capacity to acquire and to learn and I want to learn from the audience and I want to learn hopefully from the governing board here that perhaps, maybe there's things that we can do better as far as our visionary response. So I think that's one of the key things to our success as far as our sustainability is working together in unison. We have community leadership meetings and then what happens is that the city and the tribal council, the city council, the tribal council, what they do is they sit down and they meet and they go over to review the past year's events and the progress and things that have been made as far as our police department. So I think what's very important and I want to emphasize is that communication is, I think it's very imperative. I think that's probably the most, the key that lies behind the measurable success of our agency. And I understand, I read a lot and I do want to emphasize also that I do know that what we've been able to do in Flandreau, I know there's been other communities that have done likewise and I just read an article in the Lakota Journal, where the city of Bismarck is now looking at ways of strengthening and bringing some sort of resolve to maybe their community tension and things that are going on in Bismarck, and I know Mr. Dave Gipp there has been instrumental in working with that, the City of Bismarck. I know he's been doing that for a long time.

The second part is dealing with racism. As you know, as being a chief of police and being in law enforcement for 20 plus years, I have realized that I don't take things personal when things are said or directed at me as the chief or...and this is dealing with racism and I have learned to be very thick-skinned and what we have been able to do when we deal with some of the tension and anxieties that go on in the community, more so when we're dealing with events that are tragic in nature, sometimes we have to go around some of those things and sometimes we don't just put a band-aid approach to it, but we have to go right directly through it sometimes, right through the barriers and through those elements. I'm very fortunate to have a community that understands that we're coming together as a police department and as a community as a whole in Flandreau. One of the most important things about the sustainability is that if we don't have safety in our communities, everything kind of dwindles and economic development will dwindle and people wouldn't want to come to the Premiere Royal River Casino in Flandreau because it would be unsafe to come for a form of recreation and entertainment."

Michael Lipsky:

"Chief, congratulations on your achievements. Our program is concerned with the governance of the nations and so we're particularly interested in the relationship between your work and the tribal council. And I don't have a clear picture yet of how the council came to the opinion that it should move in the direction that it has. I wonder if you could explain that to us a little bit more."

Ken James:

"What happened, the history as far as law enforcement was that the tribe had a tribal officer at one time in the history of their law enforcement. Then they switched gears and they went over to the BIA and then in the past, back in the '80s they went back and they contracted with the Moody County Sheriff's Department and that was all the way up until the year, around 2000 when the city mayor and the city council met with the tribal council and decided that they were going to look at having their own law enforcement. And at that time because of the previous joint ventures as far as water development and some of the other programs that the city had joined forces with the tribe, it was a perfect glove that fit and so they said, 'We're going to dare to try something different,' and that's the key is you're facilitating positive change. It's going on yesterday and it's going on today." 

Honoring Nations: Ken James: The Flandreau Police Department (2007)

Producer
Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Year

Former Flandreau (South Dakota) Police Chief Ken James discusses how the Flandreau Police Department works to provide culturally sensitive law enforcement to all of the citizens it serves.

People
Resource Type
Citation

James, Ken. "The Flandreau Police Deparment," Honoring Nations symposium. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. September 27-28, 2007. Presentation.

Michael Lipsky:

"So our presenters are Ken James, Chief of the Flandreau Police Department, who was honored in 2005, whose program was honored in 2005; Don Corbine, who is from the Bad River Recycling program in Wisconsin; LuAnn Leonard, the Director of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund; and Mary Etsitty, the Executive Director of the Office of the Navajo Tax Commission. So perhaps, we'll go in the order that I read those names and so Ken, perhaps you'd start off?"

Ken James:

"[Dakota greeting/prayer] Before I start I want to share with you -- it's a song. And I sing this song for strength, for inner strength, and it's a song of encouragement. And I sing this a lot in the line of work that I do. I always need strength from the higher power. And after I get done singing his song, I'll share with you the history of that song.

[Singing]

That song, (you can go ahead and sit down. Thank you). That song is a reminder of our history, as Dakota Santees in South Dakota, Nebraska and North Dakota. On December 26th, 1862, our brothers and sisters, our ancestors, stood side by side holding hands with the men, the women and children in Mankato, Minnesota, on December 26th, 1862. They were a bristling wall of strength that stood there, and they watched their brothers, their relatives. The largest mass execution in U.S. history; 38 Santees were put in the gallows and they were hung. And it was for our homelands in Minnesota and we were exiled. Our ancestors were moved, and we were moved, and we were moved. And through all of those journeys through life, we've had the tenacity to overcome and to adapt as Indian people.

When I look around the room today, I see each and every one of us have our own stories to tell in our families, in our tribes, in our nations. And so we, each and every one of us, we're that bristling wall of strength today for our people and for the generations to come. And I want to start off by -- it's been so gracious, I've learned so much since I've been here. I've never been to this side of the world other than to -- I've been to D.C. for a law enforcement summit, so it's been just very gratifying to come here and to learn and I'm just absorbing it all in. It's just been a blessing and a gift. Somebody once said that sometimes we have to travel this road alone but we don't have to do it by ourselves. We have so many people. I share that a lot with my children that sometimes we're going to have complex issues come in our life but we can do it together. There's nothing saying that we can't do it by ourselves.

And I want to share with you, I want to thank and I want to acknowledge some people here. I think it's only right and fair that I do that. In our Native way, we do that anyway. [Because] what I've learned in my career, it was given to me, it was something I didn't do by myself. I had so many people that are no longer here in the physical realm that [have] helped me to get where I'm at today. So I'm very appreciative of that love and that unconditional love that has been bestowed upon me. My Indian name is [Dakota language]. In Dakota that means ‘strong minded.' That was given to me in 1995 in a Hunka ceremony in Kyle, South Dakota. I was adopted into the, at that time was the president of, the Oglala Sioux Nation; his name was Wilbur Between Lodge. And it was mostly, in part, because of the work that I was doing down on the Indian reservations working more so with gang violence in Indian Country. I also did a lot of work in building healthy lifestyles. I want to share with you that last week was 14 years of continuous sobriety for me. I gave that up. So today the federal Bureau of Land Management declared me a fire hazard because I'm so dry. So don't light a cigarette or nothing around me, I'm flammable. I've been married 27 years. I have six grown children and one granddaughter and another one on the way. My daughter's Kaylen James. She's a student now here at Wellesley College here in Boston. Her sister, another identical twin, is up at Dartmouth going to school there. And I'm very proud of them. I have four other grown children and they're all in school, going back to college and still continue to evolve and still continue to learn.

I want to acknowledge that we have Josh Weston, our president, the youngest president in the history of our tribe; he's my nephew. And then I have another person I want to acknowledge is Leah Fyten. Leah is the Housing Director for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. She's currently on our Public Safety Commission and she's also Chairperson of our Meth Initiative Coalition there in Flandreau, South Dakota, that she chairs and doing a very good job. The other person I want to acknowledge in the crowd here is Dr. David Gipp, a huge contribution in my life, as far as my career in law enforcement. In 1979, I was a young 18-year-old, turning 19, and I went to school at United Tribes [Technical College], and I took up the Criminal Justice program. And I had the opportunity to learn and also work at United Tribes [Technical College] for four years in the security department before I went on to work in the Rapid City Police Department. We have continued to maintain contact and continue to keep that dialogue open as far as some of the contemporary needs and concerns that's going on in Indian Country today. So I'm just glad and very pleased that we still have people, such as Dr. David Gipp, around that's still a huge inroad in our lives, still paving the paths for so many successes in Indian country with all the students that graduate [from] United Tribes [Technical College].

And then last is Harvard [Honoring] Nations. Yesterday the motto was ‘Just do it'. Well, I think there's another part of that is they keep coming back. Two years ago when we were given this award we thought that would be the end of it. That's not the case. They call you up, they're in contact with you, sharing dialogue, sharing information, sharing ideas. And it's kind of spun off on me [because] now I'm contacting them. When I'm dealing with complex issues, it just takes a phone call, or even an email, to get on the phone, or get on the computer, and we share these issues together because together -- again, I heard someone say that two minds working together is better than one and when we can put that altogether it's really, there's a lot of strength in there. I just appreciate Harvard for all the work that they do and continue to do, even after you get your award, they continue to work with you. And then it's people such as yourselves that are here. I've learned so much talking and sharing and learning so much about the other cultures and different backgrounds. So I'm going to be going back to South Dakota rejuvenated, energized, and ready to go back to work and do what I do.

Myself, I have about 28 years of security, corrections and law enforcement work. The majority of my law enforcement career was in Rapid City, South Dakota, which is in the western part of South Dakota. There we have probably about 80, 85, 90,000 population. And about 7,000 Native Americans live in Rapid City and that population fluctuates. And then I've been the Chief of Police for the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe and the City of Flandreau for the past seven years. One of the things I wanted to share with you is that, when I took this position as the chief of police, they were looking for someone who could collaborate and use that cooperative learning to engage the community; someone that would be able to work with the Native population, the Native people, and then of course work with the non-Indian community and bridge that gap and bring things together. One thing that I found out is, there's an old Hopi saying that says, ‘One finger can't lift a pebble, it takes more than -- several fingers to coordinate and bring that together,' and that's how it is when we work together in Flandreau.

It hasn't been an easy road. A lot of the rites of passage, the maturational process that we had to go through to get where we're at, was -- we weren't courting disaster, but when you go into something and when you don't settle for the status quo -- there's nothing wrong with the status quo, there's nothing negative about it, but if you want to be an innovative leader, if you want to forge ahead and maybe sometimes even fall forward, falling forward sometimes you're going to make some mistakes. And certainly in our department in Flandreau we have some flaws, we've had some weaknesses. But we didn't try to override them; we tried to work through them. And it's been a tremendous learning experience, as far as our growth, and we have certainly not become stagnant.

One of the things I wanted to share with you about our experience is we've -- talking about Flandreau -- we've been able to take that model, use a traditional law enforcement setting. If you look at it, where we're at today in law enforcement, the model is that it used to be tribal law enforcement and traditional law enforcement. Then it moved over to Indian Scout, and then it went to BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], and now you're seeing it come in a complete circle, starting to go back again to traditional law enforcement. In Dakota, we call it the Akicita Society, the Soldier's Lodge. Today, what we have done is, we've been able to fine-tune that and today, in contemporary law enforcement, we call it community-oriented policing -- and in that, what we've done is, we've been able to mesh that together. And so I come to find out that community-oriented policing correlates very well, it identifies very well, with traditional law enforcement, what those principles are about. In [community-oriented] policing, it talks about the broken window[s] theory. In Native country, when we see broken down cars and dilapidated buildings, we become desensitized to that, we see it every day, and after a while we become accustomed to it. In the [community-oriented] policing, the broken window[s] theory is that, if you have windows that are busted up, what it does is it increases crime; it goes against societal needs.

One thing that I want to share with you is that, as the chief of police, I am Dakota first and professional second. Everything that I do, the way I live, the way I act and conduct myself is that I'm a Dakota first and that I'm Chief of Police second. In the same lines, as chief of police, I'm also chief of police/mentor/coach/teacher to my officers. I keep giving back to them that sacred trust and responsibility. When you wear that badge, that's what it's all about, about the community comes first, the welfare of the community. Sir Robert Peelsaid it best during the ancient feudal backgrounds when law enforcement was first established. He said, ‘The community is the police and the police is the community.' We're just an extension. One of the things about [community-oriented] policing in Flandreau, as well as across the nation, is part of that [community-oriented] policing principle is that we're there to identify problems and then coming up with approaches and solutions to those problems. It's being a problem-solver in today's 21st-century law enforcement.

And again I want to share with you is that -- I heard yesterday, someone talking about, by working together in unison -- a single twig breaks but when you put a bundle of sticks together there's strength there, it's hard to break that. One of the things I wanted to share with you is that when we work with people and we work with the demands of society, we see a lot of issues; we see a lot of concerns. And one of the things I wanted to share with you is this, is that -- there's an old ancient method of working with arrows. Someone had talked about the quiver and the arrows yesterday. What we do with the arrows is that, when you have one arrow that's out of line, what you do is you take that arrow and you make it the focal point. You make that the center of importance. You take that arrow and you put it in the middle. And you take all the straight arrows that have precision and balance and equilibrium, you put it around that arrow and you wrap it. You put it away for a couple of days and you come back. You don't go back and tamper and check and see if everything's working okay. You let it be, you let it work on its own accord. Several days later you go back, you unravel that wrapping and the arrow that was crooked and out of line that was in the middle is now straight. It's been aligned with the rest of the community. That's social bonding in our traditional culture, bringing things together. And when we see kids that are in gangs, we see the methamphetamine issues; that's what we need to do with people. We put them at the center, rather than outcast them and displace them and kick them out of the community.

One of the things I want to talk about, in our department there's training through osmosis. It's probably been the biggest thing, as far as relational building, is that I have non-Indian officers that work in my department. What we've been able to do through training through osmosis is they learn from me, as a Native chief of police; I show them the mannerisms, I show them the etiquette, I show them the things that we do in our way of life. And vice versa, we do the same thing. I go out there and I learn just as much about the backgrounds and cultures of my officers that work for me. It works so well, is that our model -- in Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, up on Standing Rock, they're starting to look at and view what we've been able to do in Flandreau, as far as building that partnership between the city and tribe, because in the Nation it's never been done. So when we forged ahead in that concept, in that partnership, we didn't realize the magnitude of what it was going to cause. We didn't even think of it as something special because historically, in Flandreau, the city and tribe has always learned to get along with each other, see the differences, and be able to work through some of those issues. And I think that's partly due, because we have one of the oldest BIA boarding schools there in Flandreau, and -- for example, our city mayor is a retired teacher from the Flandreau Indian School. So, in other words, we never had to really reinvent the wheel, and today the tribe and the city are working on other economic development ventures and things like that. So we're certainly moving ahead, forging ahead and we're learning from our past.

One of the things I want to share with you is about, when I traveled over here the other day, come across, we had a relative, an ancestor, his name was [Dakota language], which means winner. Most of you guys probably seen the movie that came out a couple months ago, it was about Wounded Knee. And in there, the main character was about Dr. Charles Eastman. Dr. Charles Eastman came to Dartmouth and went to school here and got his education. And what happened was, during that time of travel here -- I can only imagine what had happened, as what happened to a lot of our ancestors, it was part of that assimilation process, as far as that U.S. policy of educating the Indian. A lot the people, especially the Dakotas and Lakotas and other tribes, we were taken from the families and we were taken, by either buggy or horseback, down to the Missouri River where they were departed from their loved ones and their relatives and they made the journey east to go to school here. I had a grandpa that went to school at Carlisle Indian School; he was a World War I veteran. After he left Carlisle, he never did come back to our reservation and that was a part of that process. It's not to say that he didn't go on and work in other Indian communities, but he ended up relocating in the Southwest. And we all know too well about the 1950s with the relocation.

I had a grandmother that went to school at Hampton Institute over here on the east side. So there's a history that's there. Earlier when I sang that song, I want to share with you, it's about tenacity, it's about perseverance and it's about enduring. One of my grandmothers, after the Dakota conflict, went down and went to Crow Agency, or Creek, and ended up there and then ended up down in Santee Agency in northeast Nebraska and she had the intestinal fortitude to go, during all the mass confusion, she ended up going back. We ended up leaving one of the children behind there in Minnesota up in present day Minneapolis, Fort Snelling. And it was at a time when there was still a lot of hostility towards Native people. When she got to Santee Agency, it wasn't a man, her Indian name was [Dakota language], which means ‘like [a] man,' [because] she took some of the duties of the man when they were away on war parties or if they were away from the camp. So she went, she walked on foot. I don't know how she got through over the bridge, or there wasn't even bridges back then, but she walked all the way back to Minnesota and reclaimed one of the kids there and then took him back on foot all the way back to northeast Nebraska. I shared that story a couple years ago at a wellness conference in Rapid City; we were talking about building strengths in families. And when I look at my own disappointments and my own problems in life, I just have to draw back to that memory of our history in our family and I say, ‘Wow.' Last summer I had a chance to go down to the southern part of our Indian reservation in Nebraska and I found where she's buried. It's way down in this valley and I walked down, I got out and I walked and got there and I was able to -- I just remember kneeling down at her headstone and saying, and I kissed it and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you so much for what you done.'

So I've learned, through that time, about taking our police department, all the things that we've been able to do, mixing them together, and sharing, and giving a lot of thought to what we're doing, as far as a police department in today's contemporary society. And I want to share with you one more story. And it's about what I do, why I do what I do. When I was working in Rapid City I went to a domestic violence call and it was very chaotic. I remember showing up about three in the morning, I got there and there was a young boy. It was families just fighting, people were intoxicated. And I looked and I could see right through this little door, these little eyes peeking out, little angel faces peeking out, little lips were trembling. And I imagined they were scared and frightened of police and fire and ambulance there, and one of the grandmas was [lying] on the couch having a heart attack. And so I remember watching them and I went out the door, I got in the police car, and I was getting ready to leave. And I looked and I seen this little young man, about nine years old, he was walking back and he, at nine years old, he already had a substance abuse issue, inhalant abuse. And he was probably one of the youngest that was put into the detoxification center in Rapid City. But anyway, he was coming back and he was acting like a gang [member]. So I called him over, I knew that he was on probation so I put him in the car with me. And I call it a divine intervention. And I put him in the car with me, I put him in back and started talking to him, he got very defensive. So I started talking with him and I said, ‘You know,' I said, ‘How do you feel right now with all the stuff that's going on with your family right now?' And so he got very defensive and very abrupt and I just kept talking to him and finally he -- I told him, I said, ‘You know, I want you to know this,' I said, ‘as a young child,' I said, ‘You've already been to hell and back already with everything that's going on in your family.' I said, ‘You've got sisters in there, little sisters that need you.' I told him, I said, ‘If you can get through what you're going through today, you can go anywhere in this world, if you put your mind to it.' And I ended it by saying, ‘You know why I'm telling you this? It's because I simply, I care about you.' And that little boy, in the back seat of my patrol car, he just started to weep like a baby and he ended it by saying, he said, ‘I want to say something to you.' He said, ‘I never -- no one's ever said that they care about me.' That was a reflection, a tiny reflection of myself, looking at that little boy growing up. And that sticks with me today because sometimes in my line of police work and working in Flandreau, working with families, one thing is that we get kind of bogged down, we get wrapped up in our work, and I have to go back to the basics of why I do what I do. And it's about making a difference in people's lives, improving safety in Indian Country. And so I wanted to share with you a little bit about that.

We still have a lot of work that's ahead of us. Together, we can accomplish a lot of those things. The thing that's really, that we're dealing with today in society, in Indian Country, is methamphetamine. The other part is we're dealing with the youth gangs and the violence. And then we still haven't really curbed the domestic violence. And today, on the panel, there's going to be some work and discussion about the Violence Against Women Act. So those are the areas. And I wanted to share with you and close by thanking everybody here. I wanted to talk a little bit about our police department. I'll be around still afterwards to share with you a little bit more about what we do in Flandreau. With a time allotment of a little over ten minutes, I don't have that much time to share with you everything and it's impossible, you can't do that. But I want to share with you some things that you will understand as Indian people, the commonality of things that we do. Thank you very much."