Tribal Government & News

Tribal Police authorized to issue parking tickets, license dogs

03.09.2022 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Public safety


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Amendments to the Public Safety Ordinance that would give Tribal Police the authority to license dogs and issue parking tickets received no comments from the membership and were approved by Tribal Council during its Wednesday, March 9, meeting.

Tribal Council sent the proposed amendments to the ordinance, which has not been updated since 2014, out for a first reading on Dec. 1.

The first reading gave Tribal members 30 days to comment on the proposed amendments, which were advertised in the Dec. 15 and Jan. 1 editions of Smoke Signals with a comment deadline of Jan. 15, 2022.

Senior Staff Attorney Holly Partridge reported during the Tuesday, March 8, Legislative Action Committee meeting that no comments were received.

In addition to dog licensing and parking violations, the amendments will give Tribal police the authority to impound and tow a vehicle. The amendments were requested by the Tribal Housing and Police departments to improve safety in the community.

“The issues have been going on since the start of the Police Department when it comes to parking and dog issues,” Police Chief Jake McKnight said in a December e-mail to Smoke Signals. “The biggest parking issues are people parking in no-parking areas. We don’t mind you parking in front of your house if someone is taking in groceries or taking their young ones in the house; this should only take a couple minutes and you can quickly move your car if we need you to. It becomes a problem when people remain parked and we can’t find the owner to move the vehicle. It is hard to get emergency vehicles past illegally parked vehicles if there is a medical situation or fire.

“The issue we have with unlicensed dogs is we don’t know who the owners are when the dog is running around the community. This becomes an issue because my officers don’t have a place to take them. We currently do not have an agreement with any dog shelters.”

McKnight said that Tribal police officers will work with community members and not immediately ticket everyone who has an unlicensed dog or is parked illegally.

“I just ask everyone to not take advantage of our kindness and try to get your dogs licensed and don’t park in no-parking areas,” he said.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved a $7.38 million contract with Baldwin General Contracting of Albany, Ore., to construct 12 duplex buildings in the Creekside Elder housing development at the southwest corner of Hebo and Grand Ronde roads. The new homes will be approximately 1,120 square feet with two bedrooms, one bath and all appliances. Engineering and Planning Manager Ryan Webb said during the Tuesday, March 8, Legislative Action Committee meeting that the homes will be energy efficient with solar panels, unit specific batteries to store the solar energy and plug-ins for emergency use of generators;
  • Approved applying for a $200,000 Oregon Health Authority system of care grant that would fund additional behavioral health care for Tribal members and outreach for Tribal youth and families;
  • And appointed David Shaw as the interim Tribal Council chief judge, replacing Cynthia Kaufman Noble, who resigned effective Feb. 25 to take a seat on the Yamhill County Circuit Court. Shaw previously served as Tribal Court chief judge from 2014 through mid-2019, which is when Noble was appointed to the position. Shaw’s interim term is for a maximum of 60 days.

Also included in the March 9 Tribal Council packet were approved authorizations to proceed that will increase the Supplemental Security Income and Disability and Veterans Disability Program payments by 5.9 percent from $816 to $864.14 per month effective April 1.

March 9 also marked the first hybrid meeting Tribal Council has held since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. People who wore masks and tested negative for COVID-19 on an at-home test were allowed to attend in person.

To watch the entire meeting, visit the Tribal government’s website at and click on the Government tab and then Videos.