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LaRocque offers law officer training at UTTC

WASHINGTON – The BIA has confirmed that its former top lawman, Brent LaRocque, has been detailed to United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, N.D.

“As I understand it, he has,” said BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling, explaining that he is in North Dakota “helping to start the implementation of an MOU.” The memorandum of understanding between UTTC and the BIA was signed by Carl Artman, former head of the BIA, and concerns a college-based law enforcement training program that will feed officers to the BIA, she added.

LaRocque took a phone call at the UTTC Criminal Justice Center, but declined to speak without clearance.

LaRocque continues to face criticism stemming from the findings of Administrative Judge Kelly M. Humphrey of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. From the testimony of nine witnesses, Humphrey found that as BIA associate director of the Division of Law Enforcement, LaRocque’s language to and about women was derogatory and gender-specific. The BIA has not permitted LaRocque to comment.

UTTC President David Gipp did not respond to messages left with his assistant, Wes Longfeather; and Darling said the BIA and its superior department, Interior, are treating the detail assignment as a personnel matter. Therefore, the department would have no comment on LaRocque, she said. Officers at the BIA Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M., also declined comment.

As Gipp noted to The Associated Press in announcing the MOU, law enforcement is a major issue on reservations; lack of officers has been recognized as a problem in regular testimony before Congress. Gipp told the AP a BIA officer would be stationed on the UTTC campus by the end of August “to teach and work with tribal communities in the region.”

The remark fueled speculation by LaRocque’s critics, that the BIA had found a place for him after he was placed on paid leave, following the Humphrey decision in lawsuits against LaRocque and the BIA.

LaRocque is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa in North Dakota.