Law Enforcement Services

The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides direct law enforcement services to 26 Tribal Nations.

Tribes may provide law enforcement services under self-governance compacts or through self-determination contracts authorized under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) Pub. L. No 93-638, as amended (25 USC 5361 et seq.). Whether operating under a contract or compact, the Tribes directly manage tribal law enforcement services with oversight and technical assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to ensure compliance with federal law and regulations.

Under a Tribal self-governance compact, Indian Tribes have greater control and flexibility in the use of funds, reduced reporting requirements, and authority to redesign or consolidate programs, services, functions, and activities and to reallocate funds.

Crime Data Reports

The FBI Crime Data Explore website allows you to specifically search crime rates, including theft and violent crime, as well as employee staffing numbers by location and year. BIA provides this data annually for direct-service law enforcement programs. Tribes operating law enforcement programs under self-governance compacts or self-determination contracts report data directly to the FBI without having to report it to the BIA. Please direct questions regarding the Uniform Crime Reporting Program to the Federal Bureau of Investigations as provided on their Web site.

Report to the Congress on Spending, Staffing, and Estimated Funding Costs for Public Safety and Justice Programs in Indian Country

The Tribal Law and Order Act of2010 requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to submit an annual report to Congress that identifies the number of full-time BIA and tribal government employees who serve in Public Safety and Justice programs; the amount of appropriations obligated for Public Safety and Justice programs, including the methodology used to determine the allocation of funds; estimates of unmet staffing needs of law enforcement, corrections, and court personnel; and a summary of BIA technical assistance, training, and other support provided to tribal law enforcement and corrections agencies that operate relevant programs.

Drug Enforcement

The Division of Drug Enforcement (DDE) and its tribal, state, local, and federal partners play a vital role in reducing and eliminating drug trafficking in Indian Country. As an integral part of the Interior Department’s Opioid Reduction Task Force, established by the Secretary in 2018, the Division has built on prior achievements with impressive results. In Fiscal Year 2019, between 14 Opioid Task Force and Canine Team operations throughout Indian Country, OJS-DDE made a total of 313 arrests and seized 2,607 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value totaling $19.6 million dollars.

BIA, FBI Agreement on Criminal Investigations in Indian Country

On December 1, 2022, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced an agreement that updates guidelines to provide for the effective and efficient administration of criminal investigations in Indian Country. This is the first update since the early 1990s to a memorandum of understanding between the bureaus.

Tribal Consultation to prioritize public safety and justice facilities

Indian Affairs implemented a data driven prioritization approach to improve the condition of school facilities funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and are now considering adopting this approach for facilities.

Tribal Consultation - Public Safety and Justice Facilities Construction: Site Assessment