WASHINGTON, USA — After decades of neglect, murdered and missing Indigenous people are seeing movement in raising awareness and policy change in Washington State.
The newly formed Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force is in charge of developing policies and plans to address the urgent crisis.
The MMIWP Task Force announced ambitious plans in their first released report. Among the recommendations are funding for a new cold case unit specific to Indigenous people and creating cross-jurisdictional rules for law enforcement agencies.
On Wednesday, the 25-member task force met virtually to discuss an update from the subcommittees working on the policies and plans moving forward.
MMIWP Task Force Member Aubony Burns, is part of the Criminal Justice and Safety committee and is excited about the cooperation with police agencies.
“Law enforcement has really come out big, we’ve had Tribal police, deputies from a variety of places, we’ve seen folks from as far east as Spokane City Police all the way to the tip of the State,” Burns said.
Burns added, “the Washington Criminal Justice Training Center has contacted MMIWP for work on a new training program for police cadets, working with our recommendations.”
One of the biggest roadblocks to finding missing Indigenous people has been the confusion between multiple police agencies across jurisdictions.
The Task Force will collect data and research as their policy building progresses. The next meeting is scheduled for December and will be in person.
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