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Council representatives Deanna Scabby, Tom Largo, and Willardine Sampson, and the rest of the Tribal Council were presented with a shadow box filled with the special edition 45th anniversary Salt River Police Department commemorative coin and badge on Wednesday, June 27.

Salt River Police Department Celebrates 45th Anniversary

By Det. Vicente Cendejas

SRPD Public Information / Community Relations Officer

On June 14th 2012, Salt River Police Department celebrates its 45th anniversary serving the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. Over the years Salt River Police Department has overcome many challenges which in return have made us one of the best departments in Arizona.

At the establishment of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), law enforcement was under the authority of the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In later years, law enforcement was under the direction of the BIA Area Agency Criminal Investigator.

In 1963, the SRPMIC Council appointed the BIA Criminal Investigator as Tribal Police Commissioner. The duties of the Tribal Police Commissioner were to assist in organizing a Tribal Police Force to include training and administration.
In 1967, the Salt River Police Department was officially Established and Recognized in the State of Arizona as a Police Department. The BIA Law Enforcement Officer positions were abolished and the Tribal Police Department was first established. The first police shoulder patch was designed by Officer Harrison W. Rhoades.

Starting in 1972, all Salt River Police Officers attended a state police academy and upon graduation were state certified peace officers.

In 1975, the Salt River Tribal Police Department was responsible for both police operations and jail operations.

In 1980, Salt River Tribal Police Department changed names to the Salt River Department of Public Safety.

In 1992, the Salt River Tribal Police Department began training their detectives to become certified through the BIA with a Deputy Special Officer (DSO) Commission to investigate and submit federal cases directly with the United States Attorney's Office (USAO). In 1994, the Salt River Tribal Police Department's Officers were submitting federal cases directly to the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) without any BIA or FBI assistance.

In 1999, Salt River Department of Public Safety changed names to the Salt River Police Department (SRPD).

November 4, 2008, SRPD became full member partners in the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center.

In honor of Salt River Police Departments 45th anniversary Salt River Police Department has commissioned a special purpose badge to commemorate 45 years of service. The unique, eagle top badge features the great seal of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community embraced by full color United States flag on left and full color state of Arizona flag on the right. Salt River Police Department also commissioned a special purpose 45th Anniversary Coin. The front of the coin has the new badge in the middle. The back of the coin features Salt River Pima Maricopa’s Red Mountain in the middle with the Officer’s Prayer.

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