Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Tribal PD Recognized by Justice Department

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community Police Department (SCCPD) received official recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) on May 14, 2019, as having the authority to exercise state law enforcement powers and the ability to engage in mutual assistance with other law enforcement agencies. The SCCPD now has primary authority to police the community, including non-Tribal members. This extends to patrolling and ticketing within the community.

The Tribe and the State now hold concurrent criminal jurisdiction on the reservation. Public Law 280, a federal law, granted the State of Wisconsin limited jurisdiction over criminal matters and the State, through the County, policed Tribal lands.

The process of creating the law enforcement agency began in April 2018 when the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Council passed a resolution approving the creation of the police department and its policies and procedures. Last May, Bill Ison was sworn in as the Chief of Police.

A grant provided by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a program within the Department of Justice, allowed the Tribe to purchase a new police vehicle and equipment. Funds from the grant also helped build infrastructure and will be used to train and certify new recruits.

Danielle Molliver, Law Clerk from Swanson, Drobnick & Tousey P.C., was instrumental in securing funding from the COPS program. She helped coordinate with other state, federal, and Tribal agencies and officials to begin the process of developing the SCCPD. Bill would like to thank Danielle for her support and expertise.”It’s a pretty extensive process,” said Bill. “There are many, many hoops to jump through. I’m learning a lot and I’ve been in the law enforcement business for 40 years. You can always learn more.”

If you would like to learn more about the Sokaogon Chippewa Community Police Department, please email Bill Ison or call 715-478-0664.