Funds for police protection at the Meskwaki reservation were cut by the Legislature, jeopardizing law enforcement coverage, Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera said. The tribe and the department have had a contract for law enforcement protection since 1995. Iowa law provides for the annual allocation to Tama County for an additional deputy sheriff to provide law enforcement to the settlement. Kucera said that contract expired in October though negotiations continue on a new one. Without funding, Kucera said the county couldn't continue to provide law enforcement to the reservation. Since October, deputies responded to 471 calls in the settlement. "We are in the process of establishing our own law enforcement agency that we anticipate being fully operational in nine to 12 months,'' tribal executive director Larry Lasley said. "We will still need something negotiated ... in the interim and even with our own police force, there will still be the need for a relationship of some sort with Tama County.'' State Rep. Lance Horbac from Tama said funding was cut as the Legislature tried to protect programs in areas of larger population. He lost on an amendment to keep funds in place, but added the language remains. To cut it another year, "they have to look for it."