Tag Archives: tribal

Tribal vehicles licensed as government vehicles

The in basket: Byrd Thibodaux e-mails to say, “I saw a Clearwater Casino van with a WA State XMT license plate I04495. Are the tribal casinos considered government agencies?  Are these plates free or do the tribes pay any fees for them?

The out basket: Brad Benfield of the state Department of Licensing says, “Tribal governments, like city and  county governments and state agencies, are entitled to register vehicles they own (registered to the tribal government, not to a tribal member) as exempt vehicles.

“When a government vehicle is first licensed as an exempt vehicle, the government or agency owning it pays fees that are typically around $30 to $35, depending on how it is titled and the number and size of the plates issued. Once licensed, the vehicle is exempt from annual renewal requirements fees.”

Nothing new on tribal police negotiations

The in basket: A frequent commenter on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com, who goes by the name Bluelight, asked for an update on negotiations between Kitsap County and local tribes over giving tribal officers all the powers of county sheriff’s deputies.

He or she cited a July 2009 Road Warrior column that explained those deputies’ authority at that time. It said, “The 2008 Legislature enacted RCW 10.92.020, which permits cross-commissioning of tribal officers, but requires that the tribe and local government, in this case Kitsap County and its sheriff’s department, sign what’s called an interlocal agreement extending that authority.”

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said then that the new law is under consideration at the county level, but “as of this date, tribal officers in Kitsap County have not been authorized to act as general authority Washington peace officers.”

Suquamish Chief Mike Lasnier said, “the Suquamish Tribal Police are seeking that authority. Our officers are already certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, and we are currently working with the State Office of Financial Management, and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department and Kitsap County Prosecutors Office, in order to ensure that use of state authority by Suquamish officers makes good public safety sense.”

The out basket: There has been no change, Scott and Mike told me in mid-November.

Scott said, “Nothing more to add to what was previously provided.  The sheriff’s office, in conjunction with the prosecutor’s office, is in negotiation with Suquamish PD to allow tribal officers to act as general authority Washington State peace officers.

“The negotiation process continues, but I can’t provide you with definitive completion or agreement date.”

Scott’s statement “covers the situation,” Mike said.