July 31, 2009

Tribal leaders seek help dealing with gangs

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Tribal communities throughout Indian Country are struggling to deal with gang violence and drug trafficking on reservations. Tribal leaders testified this week before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, describing reservations the size of small states where police calls might be 50 or 60 miles apart. In the Navajo Nation, there are 225 active gangs. Other tribes have similar problems. In his story, Ken Thomas of the Associated Press says gangs have swamped tribal police forces. At the same time federal authorities hesitate to prosecute violent crimes inside reservations. Lawmakers are working on legislation to strengthen and better coordinate law enforcement on reservations.

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