Tribe denounces county's end to law enforcement agreement

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is denouncing county officials' decision to end a law enforcement agreement between the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office and the Mille Lacs Band Tribal Police.

A statement from the Native American tribe says the Mille Lacs County Board voted last week to end the agreement without prior warning or discussion.

The tribe says the 25-year-old agreement improved the region's law enforcement by leveraging the additional capabilities of the Mille Lacs Band's 32 tribe-funded police officers. The tribe says the county will have to replace the officers lost with the termination of the agreement.

Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin says the decision puts politics ahead of public safety.

Mille Lacs County cited its disagreement with a federal opinion as its primary basis for ending the agreement.

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