Sheriff’s Department, Tribe, close to agreement
ARENAC COUNTY — A new agreement that will outline the details of a working partnership between the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department and the Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal Police has moved slow due to legal red tape, but is close to being finished.
Arenac County Sheriff James Mosciski says meetings between he and Tribal Police Captain Dave Crockett have resulted in some changes in the preexisting agreement, and the modifications have to be approved by legal counsel representatives by each law enforcement entity before the tribal officers are given deputy status in Arenac County.
“When we had our first agreement with the captain over there, there was some wording in the agreement that he didn’t like and some wording in the agreement that I didn’t like, so we rewrote the agreement,” Mosciski said.
Mosciski went into detail, saying under the old agreement, put into place prior to him being elected, the sheriff’s department had authority over tribal officers whenever they were in the county, including times when the officers were on the Saganing Reservation.
“He (Crockett) didn’t like that and I didn’t like that,” Mosciski said, adding a change in the proposed agreement would only allow the sheriff’s department to have authority over tribal officers when calling them in for backup and when they are off the reservation.
He says language in the prior agreement dealing with liability issues, in regards to complaints against an officer, is also being adjusted and that he sent his latest draft of the agreement to Crockett on Feb. 25.
“If they’re (Tribal Police) out doing something on their own, Jim doesn’t want to be liable, and neither does the county,” said Arenac County Commissioner Raymond Daniels.
Crockett says the latest draft has been turned over to the necessary individuals.
“I gave the latest revision of that agreement to our legal side,” he said, adding he expects to hear back from attorneys the week of March 2 or March 9. “The differences on the language and the details of the agreement are still being worked on.
“I think we’re working good with Jim (Mosciski).”
While Crockett believes he has worked well with the sheriff, Daniels says some in the county have speculated a different scenario – one he says isn’t true.
“People keep asking me ‘Why won’t Jim do that (deputize the tribal police)?’ It’s not Jim,” Daniels said. “People are getting a misconception of some sort. … It’s not really an issue between the gentlemen in the positions.
“I think it will all work out shortly.”