Yakima tribal leaders declare crisis after crime spike

TOPPENISH, Wash. (AP) – Yakama tribal leaders have declared a public safety crisis on the southern Washington reservation and are imposing stricter penalties following a recent spike in crime.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports tribal leaders approved a resolution earlier this week, allowing officials to take away treaty fishing and hunting rights and remove non-tribal members from the reservation for certain crimes.

The resolution also criticized the Washington State Patrol for not actively patrolling the reservation, and it called on the federal government to help address the crisis.

State Patrol spokesman Kyle Moore says routine patrols ended on the reservation after their authority was relinquished to tribal police under the retrocession process. He says the state agency does assist other agencies on the reservation like the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.

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