Published September 3, 2018
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and the Tribal Police Commission were pleased to learn that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that amended Executive Law and paves the way for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department to be recognized as an accredited law enforcement agency. Governor Cuomo signed the bill on Friday, Seskéha/August 24th and the legislation unanimously passed both chambers of the New York State Legislature on Ohiari:ha/June 20, 2018.
Senate Bill S08894 was introduced into the New York Senate by State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and was passed with a vote of 21 to 0 by the Senate Rules Committee; while Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) introduced Bill 11128 into the New York Assembly that passed with a unanimous vote of 143 to 0. Both versions of the legislation amended Executive Law to include “Indian police officers within the definition of the term ‘law enforcement agency’ for the purposes of the law enforcement accreditation council.”
The purpose of accreditation is to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and professionalism of an agency; while promoting training and public confidence in law enforcement. Accreditation demonstrates the agency performs in a consistently professional manner, that formalized policies are in place to govern its operational practices and procedures, and that all employees contribute to the agency’s mission. It is evidence that the policing agency meets or exceeds the standards of current policing best practices.
“We extend our sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude for the outstanding law enforcement service that the Tribal Police Department continue to provide,” stated Tribal Council and added, “We’re proud of all the support they received in amending Executive Law and recognition of their highest professionalism and unwavering commitment to safeguarding public safety.”
“I appreciate all the support that the amendment has received and the patience of our tribal police officers as the amendment made its way into State Law,” said Tribal Chief of Police Matthew Rourke. Rourke added, “Receiving unanimous support from the State Senate and the State Assembly speaks volumes about our department, which is the first tribal police force to be eligible for the highest accreditation in the State for law enforcement agencies. On behalf of the Tribal Police Department, thanks to the Tribal Council, Tribal Police Commission, Tribe’s Legal Department, State Lobbyist Giorgio Derosa; as well as to Senator Little and Assemblyman Jones for sponsoring legislation that recognizes the work and professionalism of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department.”