During the course of 2020, the Tulalip Tribes Police Department hopes to have 25 additional people employed either as commissioned officers or civilian employees.
"It's a focus on recruiting and hiring the right people that have an interest in serving the Tulalip community," said Chris Sutter, chief of the Tulalip Tribal Police. He said he hopes to hire seven entry-level officers, six lateral officers, two corrections officers, four fish and wildlife officers as well as a boat operator, marina security officers and fill dispatch vacancies.
"We're putting them through a rigorous pre-academy," Sutter said. The pre-academy includes classroom instruction, test taking, physical training and mock scenarios to help prepare officers enter the academy.
Sutter said the department instituted an office of professional standards in 2019. A training officer was hired and police personnel collaborate on ways to improve the department.
The Tulalip Tribes Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. The department has 33 police officers, six fish and wildlife officers, and nine boat operators. The Tulalip Police Department patrols tribal fishing areas in the Puget Sound.
Home to Seattle Premium Outlet Mall and Quil Ceda Village, Tulalip police officers are busy making sure the shopping area remains safe. Sutter said officers meet with business leaders monthly and they were patrolling businesses during the holidays.
"The holidays was safer for businesses, customers and visitors," Sutter said.
Tribal Police in 2019 implemented a drug task force. "Our goal is to remove drugs and people who deal drugs from our reservation," Sutter said, adding the program implemented last year led to numerous arrests.
He also said officers are partnering with the Tribes' public works and public health departments to reach out to homeless people and remove illegal encampments. He noted that 95 percent of the homeless encampments police encounter are comprised of people who are not tribal members. He said removing such camps helps protect tribal lands and natural resources.
Officers are also working with homeowners to improve their safety and protection of their property.
Sutter said the department is also focusing on meeting with residents to maintain an open dialogue. He is planning community engagement sessions in the neighborhoods throughout the Tulalip Tribes.
"We're also focused on listening to our citizens," Sutter said.
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