Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona


Russ E. Jock, an officer with the tribal police department has been granted peace officer certification, even though he still does not have U.S. citizenship. In October, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board notified Jock, 26, he was not eligible to be a peace officer here because he was not born in the United States and had not been naturalized. He is a member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Nation straddling New York state and Canada. But the Jay Treaty of 1794, signed by Great Britain and the United States, allows Natives of the area where Jock was born to travel between Canada and the United States and live and work where they choose. A letter from the state board said it decided at its June 21 meeting to grant Jock certification. "The board specifically found that tribal sovereignty is not a basis for waiving any of its minimum qualifications for certification ... However, the board also found ... Jock is a citizen for purposes of the POST statute." "It's refreshing to know they honored this, because it was an issue very important to Native people dealing with a 200-year-old treaty." Jock said. He was hired by the Tohono O'odham Police Department in 1999.