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Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Tribal Prosecution

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $899,895)

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a federally recognized tribe located in Maricopa County, Arizona. With this funding, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Salt River Police Department will work to develop and sustain a comprehensive approach to violent crimes and substance use.

Under Purpose Area 1:  SRPMIC has a high rate of Domestic Violence (DV) cases. To combat this issue, SRPD aims to create a position for a Domestic Violence Detective. This DV detective would assume primary responsibility for the domestic violence cases in the community. Furthermore, this detective would receive training specific to the issues of DV and strangulation, becoming an expert within the department for handling this cases. The DV detective would collaborate with investigators from the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office (TPO) to ensure increased prosecution in these crimes. The ideal outcome of this increased prosecution would be an increase in reporting of this cases as it becomes increasingly apparent that SRPMIC will not tolerate domestic violence within the community. The COPS CTAS grant would allow SRPD to provide basic issue detective gear (camera, computer, portable fingerprint scanner), as well as a detective vehicle for the DV detective. The creation of the DV detective position would leave a vacancy for a sworn officer, grant funds from this project would be utilized to fill that vacancy with a newly hired sworn officer.

                Under Purpose Area 3:  Currently, SRPD does not assign a detective to most domestic violence cases or to cases involving possession of illegal drugs (unless sale of the drugs is alleged).  Patrol officers handle these cases, which means that these officers conduct the bulk of their investigation at the time of the incident.  There are few resources for ongoing or follow-up investigation because when the officers return to shift, they are once again caught up in responding to calls that are occurring in the moment.  Utilizing the domestic violence detective we hope to fund using Purpose Area 1, coupled with the criminal investigator position and the supplies and materials we hope to fund under this purpose area, we plan to build a multi-disciplinary response – to domestic violence cases in particular – much like the one we currently utilize in our crimes against children investigations.

The criminal investigator will work directly with prosecutors and SRPD to fill any existing gaps in investigations, and will aid prosecutors by helping to locate victims and witnesses who no longer reside at the addresses on file or whose telephone numbers are no longer operational.  By increasing the volume and caliber of available evidence, and by helping to ensure the availability of necessary witnesses for trial, we expect to see an increase in the number of successfully prosecuted cases.

Date Created: November 23, 2021