WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) recently joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce H.R. 4289, the BADGES for Native Communities Act, which fights violence against native women and addresses the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis. The legislation addresses barriers that stand in the way of improving the efficiency of law enforcement agency data sharing and officer recruitment and retention, both of which are imperative to address this crisis. It will also ensure tribes can continue important programs that currently work to increase public safety by making them permanent.
“The silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women is wreaking havoc on our families and our communities,” said Mullin. “All parties have to work together to fight back against this epidemic of violence. Our priority must be to protect native women and children and this legislation will help federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies better coordinate their efforts.”
The bill has bipartisan support from Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-1), Tom Cole (OK-4), Sharice Davids (KS-3), Don Young (AK-AL), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1), Norma Torres (CA-35), Dan Newhouse (WA-4), Gwen Moore (WI-04), and Paul Cook (CA-8).
The BADGES for Native Communities Act bridges agency data gaps and ensures safety for native communities by:
• Addressing inefficiencies in federal criminal databases;
• Increasing tribal access to federal criminal databases;
• Improving public data on missing and murdered Indigenous women cases and Indian Country law enforcement staffing levels;
• Promoting more efficient recruitment and retention of BIA law enforcement;
• Providing tribes with resources to improve public safety coordination between their governments, states, and federal agencies; and
• Mitigating against federal law enforcement personnel mishandling evidence crucial to securing convictions of violent offenders.