A mutual agreement between the McLean County Sheriff’s Department and the Three Affiliated Tribes has turned into a lasting relationship. And the tribe has expressed their gratitude in a big way.
On the Fort Berthold Reservation, access to law enforcement in some parts can be slim from time to time..
“It’s pretty much a 75 to 90 mile drive just to get to White Shield if we have a shortage of officers. So, now we have the McLean County Sheriff’s office that can basically come onto White Shield and assist with the law enforcement officers from the Three Affiliated Tribes,” said tribal councilman Fred Fox.
Back in 2015, MHA Nation and the McLean County Sheriff’s Office signed mutual agreements for law enforcement. There are 6 counties that surround the reservation – and this is the only partnership the tribe has.
McLean County Sheriff J.R. Kerzmann said, “It’s a part of our county. I mean, even though it is a reservation, they still have the same rights to law enforcement than anybody else does.”
There are students from White Shield who attend school in Garrison. To show appreciation for the law enforcement help, the tribe just recently donated nearly 30-thousand dollars to go toward a school resource officer in 2019. Something Garrison hasn’t had until now.
“Nowadays with activities going on with schools and gun violence, we want to make sure all our kids in the community in White Shield and Garrison are protected,” said Fox.
It doesn’t end there. In the midst of struggling budgets, they also donated a brand new truck for officers to utilize.
Sheriff Kerzmann added, “At this point, vehicles and keeping good vehicles on the road for our patrol guys is a must. And they were more than happy to write the check and hand it off in appreciation for our relationship.”
It’s a partnership the tribe and the sheriff’s office hopes to continue for years to come.
This isn’t the first time MHA has come bearing gifts. Two years ago, they donated a K-9 unit to McLean County.