Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Public Safety and Justice Center is open and officers say they are ready to serve those in Blyn.
“We’re excited,” Jamestown Police Chief Rory Kallappa said.
He and fellow tribal officers Patrick Carter and Jason Robbins will work out of the facility along with Clallam County Sheriff deputy and tribal liaison Ben Tomco.
The move to a bigger space is significant, tribal leaders say, as officers previously worked out of the tribe’s older and smaller council chambers and administrative offices.
To celebrate opening the new facility, Jamestown leaders and Clallam County dignitaries held a ribbon cutting on June 14.
Ron Allen, tribal chairman and CEO, agreed with Kallappa’s sentiment that it was an exciting day.
“When people come here whether for a case or any regard with a judicial or public safety matter, they know they’re walking into a place that reflects professionalism and integrity of a quality law enforcement system,” Allen said.
“It’s a facility with the integrity, character and culture of the Jamestown community that complements its sister organizations in the county and the state,” he said.
“It exhibits a pride of the Jamestown people.”
Within the new, approximate 6,500 square-foot building off Sophus Road behind the Blyn Fire Station and Longhouse Market & Deli, officers and the county deputy have their own office spaces. The $2.6 million building features a courtroom/multi-purpose room, office space, and child advocacy center. It will also serve as an emergency command center as needed.
Kallappa said he’s particularly proud to have a dedicated room to training for defensive tactics and judgmental use of firearms training with their VirTra simulator. They can also practice martial arts Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga and more in the space, he said.
Hoch Construction of Port Angeles broke ground on the project in May 2018 with support from Jamestown Excavation and local subcontractors to finish the facility in about a year. Kirk Nelson managed construction while Annette Nesse and Leanne Jenkins led planning and development.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted $500,000 to the tribe to help pay for the center, too.
Allen said the intentionally overbuilt the facility so “they can grow into it as necessary.”
“If it doesn’t grow into the capacity its built for, then that’s fine. That’s a good thing,” he said. “If more incidents do happen, then we can proceed with prosecution.”
The facility hosts a courtroom that can be converted into a classroom, conference room or emergency operations center.
The tribe is partnering with Healthy Families of Clallam County to develop a satellite Children’s Advocacy Center in the center, too.
Kallappa said the tribe holds court once a month, and the new center offers the judge, prosecutor and court clerk their own spaces along with interview rooms and a holding room for defendants.
Tribal leaders said one of their goals is to bring their local cases to the center for judgment rather than through Clallam County Superior Court.
Allen said the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is too small to constitute its own judge and prosecutor; the tribe partners with other tribes so that a judge and prosecutor rotate and are assigned to them, he said.
“It’s easier for us to share with other tribes who are in similar circumstances,” Allen said.
Some of the anticipated court cases include those centered around Indian Child Welfare, family disputes, natural resource violations, and crimes committed at facilities like 7 Cedars Casino.
Allen said the tribe is growing with its activities and events and “incidents are bound to happen.”
“It makes a big difference in having (the new center),” he said. “With our resort going in and additional activities, planning in the area, additional housing, much of the housing will be on tribal land, it means that we might have few more cases than we already have.”
Kallappa said the center allows officers to “prepare for whatever could happen.”
For more information on the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Public Safety and Justice Center, visit www.jamestowntribe.org or call 360-683-1109.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.