bama Anticrime Surge At 3 Reservations: 3 Successes, 1 Failure


The Obama administration, which has made reducing crime a priority in its attempt to improve the quality of life at dozens of Indian reservations plagued by violence, recently ended a two-year crime-fighting initiative at Wyoming’s Wind River reservation and three others deemed to be among the country's most dangerous, reports the New York Times. Nicknamed “the surge,” it was modeled after the military's Iraq war strategy, which helped change the course of the conflict.

Hundreds of officers from the National Park Service and other federal agencies swarmed the reservations, and crime was reduced at three of the four reservations — including a 68 percent decline at Mescalero Apache in New Mexico, officials said. Wind River, as has been true for much of its turbulent history, bucked the trend: violent crime there increased by 7 percent during the surge. Wind River has a crime rate five to seven times the national average and a long history of ghastly homicides. During the initiative, which increased the number of officers to 37 from 6, crimes included the murder of a girl, 13, who had been missing for four days and whose partly clothed body was found under a tree, and the killing of a 25-year-old man, who police say had been beaten with a child's car seat and a dumbbell by two friends after a sexual encounter.

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