Law Enforcement Shakeup Underway On Pine Ridge Reservation

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – A major shakeup in law enforcement is taking place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council declared a state of emergency and withdrew support this week for Police Chief Harry Martinez, who has since resigned.

The council has faced a deluge of complaints from tribal members on a reservation that’s experienced a wave of drug-related crime. Eight police chiefs have come and gone since 2008. Not long ago, 100 officers patrolled the reservation’s 3 million acres. Now, it’s just 30 officers.

KOTA says the council has disbanded the Public Safety Board and hired Mark Mesteth as interim police chief. He held the job before Martinez.

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