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City of Perry and Otoe-Missouria Tribe reach public safety agreement

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PERRY, Okla. – In a historical first for both the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the City of Perry, the two governments plan to enter into a formal agreement that both entities believe will lead to greater safety for their citizens.

At a recent meeting in Perry, which included representatives of Noble County, city and tribal officials agreed on three issues to improve the well-being of tribal and area citizens. A critical part of the agreement will provide 911 dispatch services to the tribe and Red Rock area, with all calls for assistance going to Perry. Dispatchers there will be trained to contact the appropriate agency to help in the situation.

Second, the tribal police will be able to utilize the new Noble County Jail in Perry when needed for detention of persons in custody, with the tribe partially subsidizing the costs of these services.

The third part of the agreement will provide for limited cross-deputization between the tribal police and the city’s police department.

 

Participants in the historic meeting are, from left, Tribal Police Chief Eric Payne; Noble County Sheriff Charlie Hanger; Perry Mayor Chuck Hall; Tribal Chairman John Shotton; Tribal Vice Chairman Charles Moncooyea; Perry City Manager Jim Davis; and Perry Police Chief Brian Thomas.

“It is a historical and exciting time for both the tribe and the city,” Tribal Chairman John R. Shotton said. “The possible implementation of 911 services for our tribal citizens and police department means quicker response times and increased safety in our community. I feel a well-planned cross-deputization agreement will be beneficial to both the City of Perry and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Dialogue will continue with representatives from Noble County and the City of Perry about how we can cooperate to improve public safety in Noble County.”

Tribal Police Chief Eric Payne, who has been a driving force behind the planned agreement, said other issues also made such an agreement necessary.

“We have held concert events and have had to ask Perry and Kay County law officers to assist at these events, which they have done with the utmost professionalism. There are countless issues that Noble County has helped us with, and numerous major crimes that Perry has helped with.”

The agreement will also solve a big liability issue, he said. With an official agreement in place, the officer involved in a case can easily prove in court that he did indeed have authority in that particular jurisdiction.

Although tribal officials met with representatives of both Perry and Noble County, the planned agreement is exclusively with the city, Payne said. The tribe and the city had been discussing such an agreement prior to the meeting, and the city and the county have an agreement in place. Having county officials at the meeting opens the door for a similar agreement between the tribe and the county, he said.

“I’m elated; I’m excited about it,” said Charles J. Moncooyea, the tribe’s vice-chairman. “This is the first historical thing that has happened with the tribe and the city since the land run, and the first time the tribal council has agreed with another government organization within tribal jurisdiction. Considering over the years we’ve had some difficult situations, this shows we’re putting those behind us to move forward together.

“This also opens up a tremendous dialogue between the tribe and the city and the county. We already had a good dialogue, this just makes it official.”