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Tribal law enforcement expert hired for new program

by STAFF REPORT
Staff Report | November 25, 2020 1:00 AM

SPOKANE — U.S. Attorneys William D. Hyslop and Brian T. Moran on Friday announced the selection of David J. Rogers to serve as the program coordinator of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person program for the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Washington state.

Rogers has an extensive career in law enforcement as a police chief, consultant, trainer, lecturer and educator, according to a press release.

“I am so pleased to have David fill this important role, moving our state forward in investigations of missing persons cases involving our tribal communities,” Moran said in a press release. “As an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe, with deep experience and contacts in Pacific Northwest tribal communities, he is ideally qualified to work with our tribal partners to increase safety and security in Indian Country.”

“The problem of missing persons and murders occurring within our tribal nations in Washington state and in other parts of the country is real,” Hyslop said in a press release. “David Rogers has broad experience in tribal law enforcement. He will be working exclusively on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous persons. I expect him to have frequent contact with tribal leaders, law enforcement officers, and victim/witnesses within Indian Country in the state of Washington as we all work together to address this problem.”

For the past four years, Rogers has run his own consulting firm, Tribal Public Safety Innovations LLC, involved in the training of tribal police and probation officers across the country, according to a press release. From 2013 to 2016, Rogers served as chief of police for the Nez Perce Tribal Police in Lapwai, Idaho. As tribal police chief, he was responsible for a 24-person department covering a 1,200-square-mile area of jurisdiction. From 2003-2013, Rogers was the tribal public safety manager at the Criminal Justice Center for Innovation at the National Criminal Justice Training Center in Wisconsin. In that role he developed and implemented training for law enforcement officers in tribal police forces across the country and served as director of the National Indian Youth Police Academy introducing Native American youth to careers in the criminal justice field.

Prior to his position with the Criminal Justice Center for Innovation, Chief Rogers served as a program manager at the Western Community Policing Institute at Western Oregon University. While there, he was a key trainer on U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing programs for more than 200 tribal communities across the country.

U.S. Attorney William Barr announced the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Person Initiative in November 2019, and the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington joined forces to hire a coordinator who could lead the initiative in all 29 tribal communities in Washington.

As the MMIP coordinator, Rogers will work closely with federal, tribal, state and local agencies to develop common protocols and procedures for responding to reports of missing or murdered indigenous people, according to a press release.