Bishop Paiute Tribe disbands police office

Staff Writer

In a release dated Wednesday from the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council announced the “disbandment of our tribal law enforcement department.”
The council, describing the decision as “tough, but warranted,” stated the decision was made because of the following:
“At approximately midnight on Thursday, June 27, on duty tribal Police Officer Nathaniel Caruso was arrested for DUI, open container and drug possession in a tribal police vehicle (an unauthorized use of a tribal police vehicle), in the Anaheim, California, area.”
With the cooperation of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, the modular office on Barlow Lane was checked “for the safety of the tribal community.”
Prior to the decision to dismantling the tribal police department, the tribal council ensured the cooperation with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department of its law enforcement oversight for the reservation, according to the council.
“The continued safety and well-being of the Bishop Paiute Tribal community is of the upmost importance to the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council and we will continue to work cooperatively with the Inyo County Sheriffs Department to ensure coverage until a tribal police department can be restructured,” the council stated.
In an email on Friday, Inyo County Sheriff Jeff Hollowell said he was contacted by the tribal council chairman Friday morning and his office “has worked very closely with them through this difficult time.”
“We are assisting with extra patrols and I have offered our assistance in rebuilding their tribal police department,” Hollowell stated. “I will stay in contact with tribal administration and assist where needed.”
The Bishop Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe located on its 879-acre Bishop Paiute Reservation in Inyo County.