Hopi Tribe Takes Over Law Enforcement from BIA

Aug 2, 2019

A small northeastern Arizona tribe now is the primary law enforcement agency on its reservation.

A BIA police vehicle for the Hopi Agency
Credit Brandon Hale/BIA Police Unit, Hopi Agency/Flickr

The Hopi Tribal Council voted last month to take over some duties from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs police. The tribe says it's a move to promote self-governance.

The Hopi rangers had long assisted the BIA in policing. They were created in 1989 to enforce natural resource laws but have expanded their role over the years.

All emergency calls now go to the Hopi Law Enforcement Services, instead of Bureau of Indian Affairs dispatchers. The BIA will continue doing criminal investigations and oversee a temporary holding facility.

Hopi police Sgt. Glenn Singer says much of the crime on the Hopi reservation is tied to substance abuse and family violence.