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Tribal Affairs

Crow Tribe Police Initiate Temporary Safety Checks To Curb COVID-19 Spread

A welcome sign for Crow Country.
Olivia Reingold
/
Yellowstone Public Radio
A welcome sign for Crow Country.

This week the Crow Tribe Police Department announced safety checks and traffic stops through Aug. 2 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

On July 21 the Crow Tribal Health Department told Chief of Police Terrill Bracken that 457 individuals on the Crow Reservation had been asked to self quarantine after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result or being directly exposed to someone with the virus.

Bracken’s department responded quickly, setting up traffic stops in high traffic areas on the reservation and performing random safety checks to ensure residents were following the reservation’s stay home order and observing the 10 P.M. curfew.

"Our goal is not to go out and write a bunch of tickets or arrest people. Our goal is to educate the public and to help keep the public safe. If somebody is taking actions that are not following the stay at home orders and creating an unsafe situation for the public, then that's something that could be addressed, but that's not our goal," Bracken said

Chief Bracken said the department wants to interrupt the spread of coronavirus so that the Crow’s medical facilities aren’t strained beyond capacity.

"There are people out there that do not know how much the numbers are spiking in our community. And so we just want to educate them and let them know that we are currently experiencing a drastic increase in numbers," Bracken said.

The Crow Reservation and Big Horn County have been some of the areas most impacted by the virus in Montana. The reservation is currently under a Stay Home order until Aug. 31.