WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice has announced the opening of the application period for federally recognized tribes and inter-tribal consortia to participate in the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information, which provides federally recognized tribes with the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for authorized criminal justice and non-criminal justice purposes.
“The Tribal Access Program (TAP) is a proven and powerful tool for tribal police officers, government and court officials to investigate crimes, keep children safe and hold domestic violence offenders accountable, among other important uses,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “As TAP continues to expand, more tribes will be able to protect their communities by participating in this successful program.”
The program provides training as well as software and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots and submit information to FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems. There are currently 108 federally recognized tribes participating in TAP. The department will accept TAP applications from July 1 – Aug. 31. Tribes selected to participate will be notified in September.
“The Tribal Access Program has allowed our tribe to more effectively serve and protect its citizens by being able to prevent individuals from illegally purchasing firearms, and ensuring its personal protection orders are entered into federal databases, making their existence known, not only in Indian country, but across the nation,” said Court Administrator/Magistrate Traci L. Swan of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. “Obtaining fingerprint-based checks … has allowed our tribe to expedite placement of our children in safe foster care homes.”
“Prior to receiving the system, our community had no direct access to the services the TAP program provides,” said Chief of Police Bruce R. Janes for The Metlakatla Indian Community. “Being the only reservation in Alaska and a remote community on an island, the TAP program has provided independence for our community and police department giving us the ability [to] be self-sufficient with the vast programs available with TAP.”
For tribes that are considering applying, TAP staff will be conducting informational webinars describing the program and its capabilities. Webinars will be offered throughout the month of July and August. For more information about TAP, including webinar dates, times and access information, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.