Jessica Cejnar / Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 @ 1:21 p.m. / Crime, Local Government, Tribes

DNSO, Yurok Tribe Enter Into Cross-Deputization Agreement

Del Norte Sheriff Erik Apperson swears Yurok Tribal Chairman Greg O'Rourke and his staff in as reserve deputies. Photo: Jessica Cejnar

Sheriff Erik Apperson realized a long-standing goal when he swore his colleague, Yurok Tribal Police Chief Greg O’Rourke and four of his officers as Del Norte County Sheriff’s reserve deputies on Tuesday.

Appearing before the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, Apperson noted that the process to realize a cross deputization partnership between his office and the Yurok Tribe took “an extended period of time.” But, he said, cross deputization is on steady ground because of it.

“What you see today has historical value,”Apperson said, adding that he attended the police academy with O’Rourke. “And I believe we’re making history. This move makes our entire county and all our communities we serve safer. I’m not only optimistic, but I’m proud to be part of it.”

The Yurok Tribal Police Department has already established a cross-deputization agreement with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release from the tribe. This agreement allows Yurok Tribal officers to enforce state and county law on the reservation and allows both agencies to collaborate and communicate with each other.

“We are happy to partner with Del Norte County and Sheriff Apperson to provide complete law enforcement coverage for the tribe and our greater community in Klamath,” O’Rourke said in a written statement.

“Our region has long been underserved and this is a great asset to public safety for the Yurok Tribe and our entire community in Del Norte County with our ability to provide mutual aid.”


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