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Published November 26, 2013, 04:20 PM

More law enforcement personnel coming to Spirit Lake Nation

The Office of Justice Services, part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is sending seven new law enforcement agents to the Spirit Lake Reservation.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

The Office of Justice Services, part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is sending seven new law enforcement agents to the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Tribal Chairman Russ McDonald says he hopes it's the first step in a long-term investment on the reservation.

Two new police officers and two BIA tribal investigators are already on Spirit Lake. McDonald says three more officers should arrive within a week.

The change came after federal officials met with tribal leaders and heard from tribal members last week about child welfare problems on Spirit Lake. One of the tribe's main concerns is having enough officers to investigate child abuse claims.

McDonald says the BIA will conduct a study to see if any more help is needed.

"They're going to do an assessment on our law enforcement, where the gaps are, and come up with a plan for us to help us address those needs," McDonald said.

McDonald says the new officers are a temporary fix until the B-I-A study is done. He says he hopes they'll then be permanently assigned to Spirit Lake.

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