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A Commitment to First Nations
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The original establishment of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Police Department, now known as the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, dated December 1974, was prepared and agreed to by all Chiefs of the D.O.T.C. After three years of negotiations, funding was approved by the different levels of government. In November of 1977, the police department commenced operations with one Chief of Police and Nine members. The program was funded by Indian & Northern Affairs Canada from 1977 to 1993. The development of the Police Service was to establish local control and accountability to the First Nation communities.
In November of 1993, the Police Service ceased operations due to a lack of funding commitment from the Province of Manitoba. Tripartite negotiations reconvened in 1994 and technical meeting took place as follows: March 10, May 12, Mary 26 and June 23, 1994. On May 19, 1994 the D.O.T.C. Council of Chiefs and representatives from both levels of Government and R.C.M.P. were able to secure an Interim Policing Service Agreement which saw the restoration of joining policing services (D.O.P.S./R.C.M.P.) to (7) seven of the (8) eight D.O.T.C. Member First Nation communities, with the effective start date of June 1, 1994. On December 31, 1994, a long term Tripartite Agreement was finalized and on February 1, 1995, the Dakota Ojibway Police Service resumed full-time policing services to (6) six D.O.T.C. First Nation communities: Birdtail Sioux First Nation, Dakota Plains Wahpeton Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.
The original Tripartite Agreement was for a 5 year period with an annual budget, along with an Implementation Plan that consisted of three (3) phases:
Phase I - February 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996. Phase I included the secondment of (7) seven R.C.M.P. members: 1 Staff Sergeant; 1 Sergeant; 5 Corporals. The Staff Sergeant was in charge and mentored the Chief of Police; the Sergeant was in charge of operation and mentored the Deputy Chief - Operations; the Corporals were in charge at the detachment level and were in charge of detachment operations and mentored potential D.O.P.S. Corporals.
Phase II - April 1, 1996 to March 31, 2007. The D.O.P.S. members took control both at Headquarters and detachment level, with the R.C.M.P. staying on in a coaching role.
Phase III commenced in April 1, 1997, where D.O.P.S. became a standalone police services and all R.C.M.P. positions were returned to R.C.M.P. Prior to moving from one phase to another, an evaluation was completed.
History of Dakota Ojibway Police Service
On July 10, 1997, the D.O.P.S. Police Commission was empowered by the Council of Chiefs of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council. The D.O.P.S. Police Commission consists of one member from each of the communities serviced by Dakota Ojibway Police Service.
In addition to this, Dakota Ojibway Police Service is the only police agency in Manitoba governed by a Police Commission.
D.O.P.S Police Commission
Furthermore, the former Chief of Police, Frank H. McKay, was a founding member of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association (F.N.C.P.A.), which was formed in 1992, at which time; he served as the first President.