Red Lake Band holds COPS Native American Training Series
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by Story and Photos by Michael Meuers,
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copstrainingstory.jpgTwenty-five participants braved inclement weather to attend the COPS Native American Training Series (Train the Trainer) held at the Red Lake Humanities Center on Dec. 23, 2008.

According to Alice Benaise, Director for Red Lake Project Safe Neighbor-hoods, the title of the course was “COPS Native American Training Series Train-the-Trainer”. The training introduced participants to the COPS Native American Training Series (NATS) and its accompanying toolkit. 
“This innovative program is designed for both tribal law enforcement personnel and community members who are concerned about crime and quality of life issues on tribal lands and in their communities”, said Benaise.

The training was open to all tribal participants, including law enforcement agencies, tribal council members, and community leaders, said Benaise.

During the presentation, participants were taught how to utilize the three tenets of community policing (problem- solving, partnership, and organizational transformation) to address both crime and disorder concerns in their neighborhood. Each person attending received a free COPS NATS Toolkit. Law enforcement and community presentations were held on topics like: Tribal Community Engagement; The Problem of Underage Drinking; Graffiti on Tribal Lands; Disorderly Youth in the Community; Domestic Violence; Reducing Crime and Disorder through Problem Solving Partnerships; and Community Policing Basics.

Participants were given instruction on the implementation of the COPS Native American Training series and proper use of the curriculums, presentations and tools included in the toolkit.  Attendees also learned how to use the Tribal Community Engagement Model and adapt the various programs contained in the series to their own unique cultural and community needs.
Several other tribes were invited to participate in the workshop said Benaise, but the bad weather kept them from being able to attend.  “Although it was disappointing that other tribes could not make it, it allowed for maybe a better session for the Red Lakers who did come, allowing for one on one interaction, and more sharing,” said Benaise.

Participants from Red Lake included Red Lake law enforcement, community patrol, Red Lake White Bison Coalition, (Wellbriety), a law enforcement student, and a casino manager. “There were five Red Lake police officers here which is awesome as well as one conservation officer,” said Benaise. “The training will enhance our community patrols and boards, breaking the ice to get police involved in the community. We are all trainers today, we are willing to offer that training to other reservations”, concluded Benaise.

The program was presented by the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute (UMCPI) A Regional Center for Public Safety Innovation. It was hosted by Red Lake Project Safe Neighborhoods, Red Lake White Bison Coalition, and Drug Free Coalition of North Central Minnesota, and sponsored by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

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