Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services

Group of BIA Law Enforcement Officers

The BIA-OJS provides law enforcement services directly to tribes by OJS personnel or by Tribal Police through a self-determination contract or compact.  These include Uniform Police, Criminal Investigation, Dispatch, and Corrections, and are managed geographically through 9 OJS districts.  From its headquarters in Washington DC, down through the OJS chain of command to the local level, field program personnel integrate key national goals and priorities into consistent implementation of policies and practices.  

Uniform Police Officers are responsible for patrolling designated service areas and responding to a wide range of calls for service.  Criminal Investigators are primarily responsible for conducting investigations of criminal activity, and Dispatch personnel function as the critical communication link between the public and emergency response personnel.  Together, these three programs represent the law enforcement component of justice systems in over 200 Indian communities. 

Another fundamental component of local public safety is administered by the OJS Corrections program which oversees, or directly operates, more than 90 detention centers throughout Indian Country.  Running these facilities in a safe, secure, and humane manner requires correctional supervisors and officers, transport officers, and cooks. 

As the exclusive federal entity charged with maintaining law and order on Indian reservations, the OJS has several supporting operations and functions, which include drug enforcement, missing and murdered unit, professional standards division, victim assistance, emergency management, internal affairs, land mobile radio program, Indian highway safety, tribal justice support, and operation of the Indian Police Academy. 

At the national level, the Office of Justice Services functions as a lead Federal stakeholder and advocate for public safety and justice matters affecting hundreds of Tribal communities across the country.  We engage regularly with other stakeholders such as OMB, DOJ, the Congress, and Tribal governments to collaborate on how best to help address the unique public safety challenges faced by Tribes. 

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