PL280 is nuanced and can have different applications in different states, thus it has resulted in confusion regarding jurisdiction in Indian Country. However, through cooperation and collaborative resource sharing, tribal and non-tribal law enforcement can work within PL280 to benefit their jurisdictions. This four-module curriculum is designed to provide participants with background information and tangible strategies necessary for effectively policing PL280 reservations.

Module 1: WHAT IS PUBLIC LAW 280?

Get to know the history of PL280, learn when tribal, state, and federal governments have jurisdiction, and understand the practical applications of PL280 in your state.

Module 2: COMMUNITY POLICING

Learn benefits and challenges to community policing and how to implement key community policing strategies in order to enhance responsiveness to the most challenging and frequently occurring crimes in PL280 jurisdictions.

Module 3: TASK FORCE DEVELOPMENT

Learn how to establish a task force, garner support for task force development, gather resources, and adapt the task force to overcome environmental and political barriers.

Module 4: SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT

Learn about the historical background of tribal governments in order to understand how sovereignty can be used to foster effective law enforcement by building capacity through regulation and tribal law.


AudienceLaw enforcement and tribal and non-tribal leadership state/government leadership.


Additional Resources

Public Law 280 Homepage

Strategic Applications International Homepage

Cross-Deputization in Indian Country (pdf)

Promising Practices in Tribal Community Policing (pdf)

Public Safety Partnerships in Indian Country (pdf)

Successful Tribal Community Policing Initiatives: A Resource for Communities Developing Public Safety Programs and Strategies (pdf)

Department of Justice - American Indians and Crime (pdf)

Department of Justice - Public Law 280 FAQ

Department of Justice - Policing on American Indian Reservations (pdf)

National Institute of Justice - Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men (pdf)

What is Public Law 280? Learning Graphic (pdf)

Tribal Community Policing Learning Graphic (pdf)

Taskforce Development Learning Graphic (pdf)

Sovereignty Learning Graphic (pdf)