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Meskwaki, other law enfocement mutual aid unsettled

January 14, 2020
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Just as Meskwaki court jurisdiction continues to appear unresolved, Tama County law enforcement agencies appear to be in limbo on how far to go to assist Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police on day-to-day matters.

However, Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera, Tama Police Chief Jason Bina and Toledo Police Chief Nathan Shepard all have said their departments will respond in an emergency to calls for aid by Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police.

They note they do not have mutual aid agreements in place.

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And, in a response to The News-Herald, Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla wrote, "The Department will take requests from the Tribe on a case-by-case basis. If the federal government is requesting assistance or it is a significant investigation that implicated public safety, the Department will assist."

Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Chief Jacob Molitor told The News-Herald Monday night it continues with no mutual aid agreement in place. However, Molitor had attended the Tama County Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday morning and the Tama City Council meeting Monday night to introduce duce himself.

The issue surfaced and appears to have remained unresolved since Meskwaki Attorney General Jay Finch wrote to Sheriff Kucera in December of 2018.

Finch said in the letter The Tama County Sheriff's Department no longer has jurisdiction over the Settlement." He went on to say "In the future we would kindly and respectively request that you inform your officers they are only to come onto the Settlement if they are invited or first notify the Meskwaki Nation Police Department."

However, Finch did call for establishment of a mutual aid agreement at that time.



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