CATAWBA NATION, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – The Tribal Police Department within the Catawba Nation continues to take shape as it gets one step closer to serving members of its community.
Director of Public Safety and soon to be Chief of the department, Shaun Butler, along with Deputy of Public Safety Mike Ligon and Lieutenant William Reap were all sworn in recently at a ceremonial event in front of the Catawba Nation’s General Council.
Officials say their plans are to create its own police department and focus on community policing through something called Restorative Justice as well as their own tribal court system.
Right now, they say they are waiting on their Cross Deputization Agreement to be finalized, which will give them the ability to enforce laws and make arrests.
“When someone commits a crime, it doesn’t just impact one person,” said Director of Public Safety, Shaun Butler. “It impacts the whole community, and having the community involved with that, trying to take the defender and correct their behavior and heal them.”
The Catawba Nation has been recognized nationally as a police department.
The department will ultimately have 16 employees and they hope to begin patrolling this summer.