Patrol Officers Complete Training On Criminal Justice In Indian Country
The Wyoming Highway Patrol recently completed a training certifying officers to work on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The goal is to help Wind River police make reservation highways safer, especially for kids.
Highway Patrol Captain Tom Pritchard says the training will help them support the Wind River Police Department by patrolling for impaired drivers and children without seat belts.
“We can help them do saturation patrols if they request,” he says. “Or we can go out and look for impaired drivers. And hopefully have an impact to where we have a safe traveling community.”
He says keeping highways safe on the reservation can be a big job because there are so many.
“The Wind River Police Department, like a lot, a majority of law enforcement agencies across the country, are really short staffed right now,” Pritchard says. “With a lot of the state highways that run through the reservation, they cannot focus a lot of their time on traffic enforcement or DUI enforcement or any other kind of safety related enforcement.”
Pritchard says they plan to offer educational programs to teach highway safety to young people, a demographic that tends to experience higher rates of highway fatalities on the reservation.
Pritchard says the U.S. Attorney’s office conducted the training to help officers get a better idea about which citations and arrests should be handled by the tribal court system, and which may require help from the FBI.
He says, in the future, he hopes to see the training offered more than once a year.