YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – On Thursday, July 20th police officers within the new Tribal Police Department, the first department in history for the Catawba Nation have been sworn in and can now enforce law in its community.
The ceremony of the “cross-deputization agreement” took place at the Longhouse location on the Nation.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson, York County chairwomen, Christi Cox, and Nation Chief Bill Harris on hand to sign the agreement between the two government entities.
After it was signed, Sheriff Tolson deputized and swore in the three current Tribal Police Officers. That means they can now enforce state law on their tribal lands.
Tribal Police Director of Public Safety, Shawn Butler says their plans are to focus on Community policing through something called Restorative Justice as well as plans for their own tribal court system.
The Catawba Nation has been recognized nationally as a police department. Leaders say the department will ultimately have 16 employees.
Hear from officials from the Nation by clicking the video above.