Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe added to expanded Tribal Access Program

Move boosts access to national crime information databases

BLYN — The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has been selected for an expanded federal program that enhances tribal access to national databases.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that six Washington tribes, including the Jamestown S’Klallam, were among the 30 chosen nationally to participate in the expanded Tribal Access Program, or TAP.

TAP allows tribes to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both criminal and non-criminal justice purposes, federal officials said.

“The Tribal Access Program is strengthening tribal governance and public safety in tribal communities across the United States,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a news release.

“TAP provides law enforcement and tribal governments real-time access to data that can help locate a missing person, identify a dangerous fugitive or prevent a domestic abuser from obtaining a gun, among many other important functions.”

TAP provides software for accessing crime information databases and kiosks for submitting and checking fingerprints through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Next Generation Identification system, federal officials said.

More than 300 tribal agencies in the U.S. are participating in the program, including the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Makah Tribe and Quinault Indian Nation.

Thirty tribes were chosen for the next phase of TAP, including Western Washington’s Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, Nisqually and Nooksack tribes.

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe CEO Ron Allen was not immediately available for comment Monday.

“Information sharing and communication is key to community safety not only in our tribal communities but throughout our district as a whole,” U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said in a news release.

“The further expansion of TAP to our tribal law enforcement partners recognizes our shared priority of reducing violent crime in Western Washington.”

Federal officials said the fifth expansion of TAP is part of the Justice Department’s focus on public safety in Native American and Alaska Native communities.

TAP allows tribes to “more effectively serve and protect their communities by ensuring the exchange of critical data with federal and state databases,” federal officials said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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