Rhode Island Narragansett wants access to criminal database

Charlestown, Rhode Island (AP) 11-08

The Narragansett tribal police say they want access to the state’s criminal database just like every other police department in Rhode Island.

Right now, when a tribal officer detains a suspect on the tribe’s land in Charlestown, he has to call state police on a cell phone, and a trooper makes the background check.

Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas says that delay poses a safety issue.

The tribal council has authorized attorney Jack Killoy, to go to court if the state continues to refuse to provide access to the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Don Carcieri says the administration is waiting for the resolution of a court case to determine whether the tribe can place land in federal trust before ruling on the law enforcement issue.