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Notes from the Field: Snapshot of the United States Indian Policing Academy

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2019
7 pages

This paper by Steven Juneau, Director of the U.S. Indian Policing Academy, discusses the Academy's goals and features.


The Indian Policing Academy provides specialized training that prepares graduates to address the distinctive public safety needs of tribal communities. Established in 1969, the academy is a nationally recognized institution for law enforcement training offered to 191 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BJA) and tribal departments. The academy trains police, corrections, and dispatch officers; special agents; and command staff. Basic, specialized, and advanced programs are provided in the academy. Academy instructors are experienced in addressing the unique needs and expectations of tribal communities. The curriculum combines tribal-specific knowledge with contemporary law enforcement practices and techniques. Scenarios and examples from Indian Country are incorporated into the curriculum as new cadets are trained in how to address serious situations with integrity and safety measures. Once officers are hired by a department, they attend the academy to complete basic certification. Each class of the Indian Country Police Officer Training and Correctional Officer Training Program consists of 48 cadets, who complete 13 weeks of training and 6 weeks of certification. The training has four cornerstones: professional development, authority and jurisdiction in Indian Country, officer/agent job tasks, and expected performance in serving Indian Country. The academy's curriculum includes academic, legal, and practical instruction that incorporates role-playing throughout basic training programs. Course topics include federal laws, federal jurisdiction, the fourth amendment, and search and seizure. Officers then apply the skills they have learned in courses on vehicle stops, firearms, arrest procedures, searching, domestic violence, child abuse, and assault. After finishing specific scenarios, police cadets complete police reports and testify in mock tribal court multiple times throughout the program.

Date Published: November 1, 2019