Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs applying for grant to build police station

08.06.2014 Ron Karten Tribal Council, Public safety

The effects of having a Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department dominated the July 23 Tribal Council meeting.

Tribal Council approved applying for a $500,000 Indian Community Development block grant to possibly design and build a new police station in Grand Ronde.

The current modular building near Spirit Mountain Casino is 1,443 square feet and too small for the current police and emergency services staff. It also lacks a holding cell and evidence room.

Kim Rogers, Tribal Planning & Grants manager, said a secure, 3,900-square-foot building would cost about $960,000. If received, the block grant would cover more than half that cost with a $167,000 Tribal match and at least $40,000 in Tribal funds to pay for the space occupied by the police chief.

Rogers said the Tribe can apply to the U.S. Department of Justice and other grant agencies to cover the balance of the cost, or use Tribal funds if the grant applications are unsuccessful.

At the July 22 Legislative Action Committee meeting, Police Chief Al LaChance said he favors either locating the new police station on the Tribal campus or next to the fire station on Grand Ronde Road.

In addition to applying for the grant, Tribal Council held a first reading on amendments to the Public Safety Ordinance to reflect the police department's expanding role in the community. Among the amendments is creating a concealed weapons permit process and transferring the permitting authority from Tribal Court to the police department.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved applying for a $5,000 language grant from the Potlatch Fund. Rogers said the grant would pay for a six-month project to collect, inventory, scan and organize the Chinuk Wawa language curriculum and reading materials developed by the Tribe.
  • Approved a Tribal credit card for Tribal Employment Rights Office Director Greg Azure.

Eirik Thorsgard, Jon Looking Wolf Reibach, Travis Stewart, Chris Mercier and Tribal Council member Jon A. George opened the meeting with cultural drumming and singing.

A video of the meeting can be viewed at the Tribal website,, under the Videos tab.