Hualapai tribal police receives grant

Federal money to tribal police departments nationwide also will go to two Mohave County tribes.

The Hualapai Tribe Police Department in Peach Springs was awarded a $219,750 grant, which will be used for new patrol cars.

The Department of Justice awarded $34.8 million in grants to 150 tribal police departments in 28 states.

The grants were awarded through the Community Oriented Policing Services tribal resource grant program.

The COPS funding helps tribal police departments hire officers and purchase equipment.

Dale Lent, the Hualapai tribe's police chief, said the grant will pay for six new police vehicles.

Lent recently ordered five four-wheel-drive patrol cars, which are needed because of remote dirt roads.

He expects the vehicles to be delivered in November.

The grant also will pay for radar and internal cameras to be installed in the vehicles as well as for any training involved, Lent said.

Since 1999, the COPS grant program has provided more than $130 million to law enforcement agencies that serve American Indian communities.

"Throughout the U.S., the demands on all law enforcement agencies are increasing," COPS director Carl Peed said.

"Tribal law enforcement agencies are no different.

They are seeking more effective methods for safeguarding the communities they serve."

The Hualapai tribe recently organized its new police department and is in the process of hiring 11 sworn officers.

Five officers have already been hired and two are currently going through the police academy, Lent said.

The tribal officers will patrol Peach Springs as well as the horseshoe-shape Hualapai Reservation located about 50 miles northeast of Kingman.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which used to patrol Peach Springs, will still patrol federal lands near the Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Reservation.

The BIA also maintains the 40-person correctional facility and the telecommunications center in Peach Springs.

The new police department will be housed in the same complex.

Peach Springs, which has about 3,500 people, is the only community on the Hualapai Reservation.

The Fort Mohave tribal police department near Bullhead City received more than $265,000 in grant funding for staff, equipment and training.