Tumwater Police to enforce local laws on more Squaxin Island Tribe's trust lands 

The new letter updates the agreement by including any property held in trust for the tribe’s benefit.


Tumwater City Council authorized Police Chief John Weiks on Tuesday, June 4 to sign a letter of understanding with the Squaxin Island Tribe, allowing the city’s police department to enforce local and state laws in tribal lands within Tumwater. 

Tumwater signed a similar letter last year, but it was only applicable to a marijuana dispensary located at 7249 Old Highway 99. According to Weiks, Squaxin has purchased another property since then, so the new letter updates the agreement by including any property held in trust for the tribe’s benefit. 

To address possible procedural issues, the letter contained several provisions to clarify the content of the agreement. 

According to the letter, should the tribe request the city for assistance, Tumwater Police may determine if a crime has happened in accordance with their policies and procedures. 

Tumwater police will also provide the tribe with investigative reports of criminal incidents in tribal lands. If probable cause to arrest a tribal member arises, the city shall communicate with the tribal police department to determine where a referral to the tribal prosecution is necessary. 

In no way shall the agreement be interpreted in a way that results in either party ceding their jurisdiction or authority to the other, according to the letter. 

As part of the agreement, the tribe contributes a $2,500 fee to the city annually. Asked by Councilmember Michael Althauser regarding the mechanism for increasing the contribution as the agreement now covers more areas, City Attorney Karen Kirkpatrick said that a renegotiation for the fee will happen in two years. 


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  • DesertMedic

    They cannot even enforce laws in Tumwater, or its schools and they want to do more. For $2,500. Pandering BS.

    Tuesday, June 11 Report this