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About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (March 15, 2017)
S moke S ignals
MARCH 15, 2017
Grand Ronde Police Station blessed, opened on March 7
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
The Grand Ronde Police De-
partment has a new home at 9655
Grand Ronde Road, just south of
the Food Bank and across the street
from the Housing Department’s
Tribal police officers hosted an
open house and blessing at 10 a.m.
Tuesday, March 7, to introduce the
new 4,400-square-foot facility to
Grand Ronde Police Chief Jake
McKnight thanked everyone who
attended the open house as well
as all those who worked to get
the Police Department out of the
cramped modular adjacent to Spirit
Mountain Casino that has been its
home since 2012.
During move-in, department
personnel experimented to see if
they could still communicate with
each other by not moving from
their desks, McKnight said, like
they could at the modular. They
The new facility is a major im-
provement for the Grand Ronde
Police Department, featuring mod-
ern technology, offices for employ-
ees and safety features that will
allow employees to perform their
jobs in a secure environment. It
also allows the Tribe’s Emergency
Management staff to move from
the Housing Department building
into the Police Station, providing
for better and more effective public
Cultural Resources employees
David Harrelson, Bobby Mercier,
Brian Krehbiel, Travis Stewart and
Jordan Mercier and Tribal Council
Secretary Jon A. George performed
the cultural drumming and singing
to open the blessing and Tribal
Council Vice Chair Cheryle A. Ken-
nedy gave the invocation.
Bobby Mercier, Krehbiel, Stewart
and Jordan Mercier then smudged
the building before tours were of-
fered to attendees.
Travis Mercier also created the
artwork that decorates the station’s
Other Tribal Council members
Photo by Michelle Alaimo
Grand Ronde Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight talks about a lock box for
weapons that is on the wall outside of the interview room of the new Grand
Ronde Police Station as he gives a tour just after the blessing of the building
on Tuesday, March 7.
who attended the blessing included
Chairman Reyn Leno, Chris Merci-
er, Brenda Tuomi, Jack Giffen Jr.
and Kathleen George.
“A long time ago, Cheryle and I
were at a conference and we were
told at that conference that if you
ever really want to be a Tribe and
have the sovereignty of other Tribes
that you need to have a court sys-
tem and you have to have a police
department,” Leno said.
“I just want to make sure that
people understand that is not a
police station, it is actually a sover-
eignty issue, just like we regained
our ceremonial hunting and fish-
ing rights. The police department,
courts … those are all sovereignty
issues that a lot of Tribes don’t get
to have. When you recover them,
that’s a big thing. This is not a
police station, it is a recovery of
Leno recalled that the Tribe used
to have its own police force that in-
cluded his great-grandfather, David
Leno, as one of the deputies.
“It has gone full circle,” Leno said.
McKnight said the new Police
Station will save the department
money and time in that Evidence
Clerk Egypt Leno will no longer
have to transport and retrieve ev-
idence to and from Independence,
which the Tribe paid to store its
evidence because there was no
secure evidence room in the mod-
ular, or travel to Dallas to conduct
interviews in other departments’
The new Police Station includes
an interview room with one-way
glass in case a witness needs to
identify a suspect, secure evidence
room, exercise room, locker facil-
ities for male and female officers,
and a Sallyport that allows patrol
cars to be brought in out of inclem-
ent weather for maintenance.
McKnight, Lt. Tim Hernandez,
Sgt. Rod McAllister and Officer
James Wolfer gave tours of the
The Police Station was funded by
a $500,000 Indian Community De-
velopment Block Grant through the
Department of Housing and Urban
Development and matched by Trib-
al Housing with a $167,000 Indian
Housing Block Grant. In addition,
the Tribe received $237,594 from
the U.S. Department of Justice to
build the facility. The Tribe funded
the balance on the $1.185 million
People needing Grand Ronde Po-
lice Department assistant should call
503-879-2123 for non-emergencies
and 911 in case of emergencies.
St. Michael’s offers brunch
St. Michael’s Catholic Church offers an open house brunch every
Sunday following Mass. The brunch is free to the community. Brunch
begins at about 11:30 a.m. following the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Mass atten-
dance is not required for brunch attendance. For more information,
contact Janelle Justen at 503-550-0923.
Enrolled Tribal members can request assistance with test fees (i.e. GRE,
SAT, LSAT, ACT) and admissions application fees. Contact Higher Education
for more information at 1-800-422-0232, ext. 2275.
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde recently implemented a
process that will allow all Tribal members who reside in the state of
Oregon the option of requesting Oregon income tax withholdings from
their Per Capita and Elders Benefit payments. Information regarding
this option was mailed to all Oregon resident Tribal members the
week of March 6.
While recognizing we have Tribal members who currently reside
throughout the 50 states, we will not be offering the state income tax
withholding option to Tribal members who reside outside of Oregon at
this time. The administrative time, costs, and reporting requirements
to implement the option in all states would be very expensive. This
is the main contributing factor in our decision not to offer the option
outside of Oregon.
There are a couple of options for Tribal members who wish to set
aside money in order to cover any potential year-end state tax liability.
Tribal Members aged 18 and over can defer a portion of their
Per Capita payments to their adult savings plan. That money
would be available to withdraw from your savings plan as needed.
Please note – this option is not available for Elders’ payments.
Money cannot be deferred to the adult savings plan from Elder
Open a regular savings account at a bank or credit union and
set aside money throughout the year for your use as needed.
Check with your state’s taxing authority to determine if you are
able to pay “estimated” taxes throughout the year, which could
reduce the amount you are required to pay at year-end.
We encourage you to seek advice from your tax accountant or CPA
should you have any questions about your specific state tax liability.
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