GREAT FALLS – Three more Montana tribes will gain access to a United States Department of Justice database.
The Blackfeet Tribe, Crow Tribe, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe will be able to use the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP) in 2019.
The Justice Department started TAP in August of 2015 and has expanded the program yearly. The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation received TAP in 2017.
The goal of TAP is to help tribes gain access to national crime information systems for both civil and criminal purposes.
The US DOJ will expand the number of tribes who have access to tap by more than 50% in 2019. This will bring the number of tribes that have access to TAP from 47 to 72.
Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a news release that a lack of access to federal criminal databases has hurt tribal law enforcement – preventing them from doing their jobs and keeping their communities safe.
“With the Tribal Access Program, participating tribes will be able to protect victims of domestic violence, register sex offenders, keep guns out of dangerous hands, and help locate missing people,” Rosenstein said.
“This milestone demonstrates our deep commitment to strengthening public safety in Indian country,” Rosenstein added.
For more information on TAP, — including a list and map of present TAP-FULL and TAP-LIGHT tribes — click here.
-Margaret DeMarco reporting for MTN News