Osage Nation implements Tribal Access Program

Osage Nation

The Osage Nation (ON) Police Department collaborated with the ON Court System, the ON Human Resources Department, ON SORNA Program, ON Housing Department, ON Social Services/Child Protective Services Department, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Tribal Access Program (TAP) to implement a Kiosk machine that has the ability to report crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Data Base.

The ON Grants Department submitted the project in January 2019. ONPD was awarded the Tribal Access Program (TAP) through the DOJ in 2019. This grant is not monetary; the award was the Tribal Access Program and associated kiosk. This grant increases sovereignty in several ways, and allows direct access to enter information in federal systems without having to rely on a third party.

“In the past when someone received an ON Tribal charge that was the generic listing

on booking reports; now the TAP enables the specific charge(s) and the ability to follow criminals beyond borders of the Osage Nation,” said Chief of ON Police Nick Williams.

Criminal agencies, criminal courts, prosecutor’s offices, pretrial services, and corrections are just some of the entities that benefit from access to national crime information.

Specific to the Osage Nation, Family Violence Prevention, Housing, Social Services (foster care placement), Education, school programs, work programs, and ON employees comprise the list of sectors that will benefit from this new implementation.

Williams added: “We are also looking at the possibility of being able to complete background checks within the Nation itself without having other departments outsource to other companies.”

About Tribal Access Program (TAP)

The Osage Nation will determine what information is entered. The proper information can prevent prohibited persons from buying firearms, to have other agencies enforce Tribal orders of protection nationwide, to register sex offenders, to find missing persons including juveniles, or to recover stolen property. Tribes can also use the TAP kiosk to indicate the status of a person (wanted, missing, endangered, sex offender, gang member) or property (stolen, lost, or recovered).

According to the United States Department of Justice, in the United States, American Indian tribes experience higher rates of violence than all other ethnicities. Fracking locations likely impact the rate of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women on reservations. The crisis is worsened through systemic racism common within the justice system. Local initiatives, like implementing the TAP, are necessary to curtail crises like MMIW cases which have been equated to a modern-day genocide (“TAP Frequently Asked Questions”, 2021).

For more information about the TAP, visit: https://www.justice.gov/tribal/tap-faq

For more information about the Osage Nation Police Department, visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/services/law-enforcement-department