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Tribe’s public safety efforts earn accolades

June 12, 2012

The Bishop Paiute Tribe hosts a joint meeting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bishop Tribal Council, Bishop Tribal Police, Bishop Tribal Court and local public safety agencies from the City of Bishop and Inyo County. Photo by Deston Rogers

Bishop tribal leaders and community members had an opportunity to meet with high-ranking state officials last month to discuss the tribe’s successful law enforcement and tribal court programs.
According to the Bishop Paiute Tribe, a collaborative meeting was held Wednesday, May 9, with the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel White, U.S. Attorney’s Office Outreach Specialist Sean Vassar, U.S. Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Coordinator George Anderson and Bureau of Indian Affairs/Office of Justice Services’ new Special Agent in Charge of California Carleen Fischer.
Tribal members said the idea for the meeting was the brain-child of White, who heard comments about the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Law Enforcement and Tribal Court Committee meetings and how successful the programs have been.
The meeting coordination was handled by Bishop Tribal Court Clerk Joyce Alvey, who said, “originally, the meeting was going to be scheduled this past January, however, due to conflicts that date had to be changed.”
So after months of phone calls and coordinating schedules the meeting date was set.
The tribe also coordinated with and invited Bishop Tribal Council, Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Bishop City Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Inyo County Superior Court, Bishop Paiute Tribal Attorney, Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, Inyo County Probation, Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Women’s Legal Advocacy Program, Bishop Tribal Administration, the Bishop Tribal Grants Administrator and the Big Pine Tribal Court, which were all represented at the meeting.
White said she was very pleased with what she observed.
“I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed meeting with tribal leaders and the rest of your law enforcement partners in Inyo County,” she said from her Sacramento office. “We were impressed with the alliances you have already forged with your local law enforcement partners. I think that the outreach the tribe has done can truly serve as a model for other tribes throughout California and we are happy to support your ongoing endeavors to promote public safety in your community in whatever way we can.”
Normally, the Bishop Tribal Law Enforcement Committee and Tribal Court Committee meet on separate days. However, due to the special visit, both committees scheduled their meetings to accommodate the visit.
Also held that day was a special session of the Bishop Tribal Court with Judge Bill Kockenmeister presiding.

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