Tulalip Police Department recognize own for outstanding service

Tulalip Police officers during the department's awards banquet, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, at the Tulalip Resort Casino. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

Tulalip Police officers during the department’s awards banquet, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, at the Tulalip Resort Casino. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – “Honoring one honors us all” was the theme of the 2015 Tulalip Police Department Awards Banquet, held Wednesday, February 11, at the Tulalip Resort Casino. The banquet was held in recognition for officers and staff who have demonstrated exceptional professionalism and leadership within their positions as Tulalip Police officers or Tulalip Police staff members.

This year three officers, one staff member and a community member were highlighted for their outstanding work in the department and with the Tulalip community. While all officers and staff put 100 percent into serving the Tulalip community, Tulalip Chief of Police Carlos Echevarria said, “these officers’ and staff members’ work stood out.”
“With such a large staff it’s hard to choose just a select few. They all do such a great job throughout the year,” said Chief Echevarria.

Fish and Wildlife officer Clayton Horne was named Fish and Wildlife Officer of the Year for his service with the police department, while Lorelei Ranney was named Employee of the Year for her outstanding work and dedication in assisting officers and other department staff. The Chief’s Award was presented to Senior Officer Jeremy Mooring for his leadership, integrity, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Tulalip Chief of Police Carlos Echevarria presents the  "Officer of the Year" award to K9 officer M.C. Engen and his canine partner Wolfy, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, at the Tulalip Police Department awards banquet held at the Tulalip Resort Casino. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

Tulalip Chief of Police Carlos Echevarria presents the “Officer of the Year” award to K9 officer M.C. Engen and his canine partner Wolfy, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, at the Tulalip Police Department awards banquet held at the Tulalip Resort Casino. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

When presenting the award, Chief Echevarria had this to say about officer Mooring, “You have consistently performed your duties in an exemplary and professional manner.” Echevarria commended officer Mooring’s can-do attitude and praised his willingness to assist officers by taking on additional shifts when needed and helping to make safer road conditions for travelers in Tulalip.

The prestigious Officer of the Year award was presented to K-9 Officer Wolfy, whose watch ended on January 2, when she lost her battle with cancer. Wolfy’s handler and partner, officer M.C. Engen, received the award in Wolfy’s honor.

“Throughout their partnership, they have assisted in cases with the Tulalip PD Drug Task Force, FBI, DEA, and ATF agencies. We would like to commend you and your partner with the Officer of the Year award for the dedication and commitment you have provided to the department. Your devotion to the community, professionalism and commitment to duty reflected great credit upon yourself, the Tulalip Police Department and the Tulalip Tribes,” said Echevarria to officer Engen.

The department recognized community member Nate Hatch for their Honoring Our Own award, an annual award that is presented to community members who exhibit a commitment to leadership, trust, respect and service above self within the community.

Tulalip Police officer Sherman Pruitt shakes Nate Hatch's hand, Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015, during the Tulalip Police Awards Banquet held at the Tulalip Resort Casino. Hatch was presented the department's "Honoring Our Own" award for his bravery during and after the Oct. 24, 2014 shooting at Marysville High School. He is the only survivor who was shot that day. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

Tulalip Police officer Sherman Pruitt shakes Nate Hatch’s hand, Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015, during the Tulalip Police Awards Banquet held at the Tulalip Resort Casino. Hatch was presented the department’s “Honoring Our Own” award for his bravery during and after the Oct. 24, 2014 shooting at Marysville High School. He is the only survivor who was shot that day. (Photo courtesy Theresa Sheldon)

“Nate Hatch, you have shown strong character, a can-do positive attitude, brilliant smile, sense of humor and most importantly, you have been an inspiration to the entire world following the events that occurred on October 24, 2014. Your bravery is second to none and we applaud you,” said Echevarria.

“Our year was cut short. As a tribal member, community member and chief of police it felt as though our year started on January 1 and ended on October 24. I literally cannot tell you what I did from October 24, until the end of the year; it is one large blur. As I look back, I can’t think of a better group of individuals in this police department and as a team that showed great courage, leadership, professionalism and the willingness to go above and beyond for the community, as I did in this group, that I would want to serve with,” said Chief Echevarria.

Wrapping up the banquet, all Tulalip officers and TPD staff members were presented a commemorative coin specially designed for them. Each coin symbolizes the dedication and commitment staff and officers have to keeping the Tulalip community safe.

Tulalip Police Officer Jim Williams. Photo Courtesy Theresa Sheldon

Tulalip Police Officer Jim Williams.
Photo Courtesy Theresa Sheldon

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

 

Task force fights back against drugs, gangs on tribal reservations

 

By Raeanna Marnati, KBJR 6

Red Cliff, Wisconsin ( NNCNOW.com)— It’s a rising problem on the Red Cliff Reservation. “We see a lot of marijuana, prescription medications are huge problem in our community, we’re starting to see heroin and methamphetamine come in, cocaine’s always been here,” said Red Cliff Police Chief Bill Mertig.

But tribal authorities are tackling the problem head first, thanks to the formation of the Native American Drug and Gang Initiative formed in 2007.

“We are able to focus on and share information on future gang trends, drug problems and then also to we can take these experts in the field and be able to work these investigations, knowing the community, knowing the players and be able to almost surgically identify and remove these threats,” said Bryan Kastelic, Native American Drug and Gang Initiative Task Force Commander.

The task force is made up of ten tribal police departments throughout Wisconsin.

It’s a collaboration between tribal, local, state and federal authorities to help with drug and gang identification on the reservation.

“It has the ability to shut the drug trade down be it for a few days or a few weeks but it still has the ability and it sends a signal that we will be back and that we are out there,” said Kastelic.

NADGI recently played a role in the arrest and apprehension of five people taking part in illegal drug activity on the Red Cliff Reservation.

Cash, guns, marijuana, and prescription pills were seized in the bust. But for the police, they have just scratched the surface

“We are not stopping at what we did, this is the start. We have a long way to get to the finish line,” said Mertig.

Officials with NADGI say a lack of support, manpower and funding among tribal police departments led to the formation.