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Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies

Tribal law enforcement agencies have two unique legal requirements within their agency operations. The first deals with enforcement of Wisconsin statutes, and the second involves mutual aid agreements.

Enforcement of Wisconsin Statutes

Section 165.92 of the Wisconsin Statutes specifies the conditions under which tribal law enforcement officers may exercise the same powers to enforce Wisconsin state laws and to make arrests for violations of such laws as are possessed by other certified law enforcement officers in this state.

One of the statutory requirements is that the tribal government must either: (1) have in effect a resolution waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent specified in Wis. Stat. § 165.92(3m)(a)1.; or (2) maintain liability insurance that meets the specific conditions enumerated in Wis. Stat. § 165.92(3m)(a)2. Proof of satisfaction of this requirement must be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which shall post notice of such compliance on WILENET.

The following tribes in Wisconsin have submitted documentation that has been found by the Department of Justice to satisfy the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92(3m)(a):

  • Ho-Chunk Nation
    1. An April 5, 2011, resolution by the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature waiving the Nation's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to allow enforcement in Wisconsin courts of any liability of the Nation under Wis. Stat. § 66.0513; and
    2. Proof of insurance coverage for law enforcement liability that satisfies all of the other requirements enumerated in Wis. Stat. § 165.92(3m)(a)2.
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    1. An October 27, 2003, resolution by the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.
  • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    1. A February 13, 1995, resolution by the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.
  • Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
    1. A September 3, 2008, resolution by the Oneida Business Committee waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    1. A November 7, 2011, resolution by the Red Cliff Tribal Council waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.
    2. Letter giving notice of satisfaction of statutory requirements [link]
  • St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
    1. An August 8, 2003, resolution by the St. Croix Tribal Council waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.
Note: Any of the above tribal documentation submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Justice prior to May 20, 2010, may require updating to correspond to the current version of Wis. Stat. § 165.92.


Law Enforcement Mutual Assistance

Section 66.0313 of the Wisconsin Statutes governs mutual assistance among law enforcement agencies in this state. That statute, as amended on May 21, 2010, includes specific conditions under which tribal law enforcement agencies may request and receive such mutual aid.

One of the statutory requirements is that the tribal government must either: (1) have in effect a resolution waiving the tribe's sovereign immunity to the extent specified in Wis. Stat. § 66.0313(4)(a)1.; (2) maintain liability insurance that meets the specific conditions enumerated in Wis. Stat. § 66.0313(4)(a)2.; or (3) have in place one or more mutual assistance agreements with other law enforcement agencies that meet the requirements set forth in Wis. Stat. § 66.0313(4)(a)3. Proof of satisfaction of at least one of these conditions must be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which shall post notice of such compliance on WILENET.

The following tribes in Wisconsin have submitted documentation that has been found by the Department of Justice to satisfy the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 66.0313(4)(a):
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    1. Proof of insurance coverage and a November 7, 2011, resolution by the Red Cliff Tribal Council that meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 66.0313.
    2. Letter giving notice of satisfaction of statutory requirements [link]
  • Ho-Chunk Nation
    1. Ho-Chunk Tribal Police Department has met mutual assistance eligibility requirements similar to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
    2. Letter giving notice of satisfaction of statutory requirements [link]