By Sheriff Scott Henriod

WPCSO

In this Sheriff’s Corner, I would like to take the opportunity to discuss a legal term called jurisdiction.

In legal terms, jurisdiction is classified as the extent of the power to make legal decisions and judgments.

When a police officer graduates from Nevada POST, and is currently employed by a law enforcement agency in the state of Nevada, they can exercise their police powers for the entire state.

However, there is an exception to the rule. The exception comes into effect when the land within the state of Nevada has been deemed Indian trust property or deed trust property, which refers to land that is held in trust by the United States Government or is otherwise reserved for Indian tribes and individual Indians and is managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for their benefit.

This takes the county, state and city law enforcement jurisdictional authority out of the equation. It places law enforcement authority on this type of land with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Tribal Police Department. County, state, or city law enforcement may enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which allows these agencies to assist one another in law enforcement action, but arrest and jurisdictional authority still stays within the Federal Government.

There is one more exception to the rule and that is when the victim and the suspect of a crime that has taken place on this type of land are non-native.

Then, the jurisdictional and law enforcement authority reverts back to the state, county or city.

In the light of a recent tragedy that took place in our community last week, there have been quite a few questions arising about this issue.

I want everyone to know that we are assisting the FBI, which is the lead investigating agency in this case. The FBI has jurisdiction in this instance because of where the incident took place.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to assist and investigate any allegations that may be associated with this case that have occurred in our jurisdictional area.