Tribal Operations
Finance Department
Housing Department
Pueblo Public Works
Tribal Police Department
Reporting Crime  
Legal Authority
Tribal Court and Records
Legal Authority

The Tribal Police Department (TPD) was created in 1997 by Tribal Resolution.  The resolution made Tribal Police responsible to protect tribal lands, secure the welfare and health of all persons on the reservation and to maintain peace on the Pueblo.  TPD has authority under traditional governmental power and tribal sovereignty by enforcing standards of conduct, overseeing all matters pertaining to law enforcement.  TPD works in coordination with both internal and external law enforcement agencies.  The TPD maintains order and takes appropriate action against anyone in violation of Tribal Law.  The Chief of Police, Raul Candelaria, supervises and directs operations.  Chief Candelaria acts as the liaison with all neighboring law enforcement agencies and is supported by a staff of nine (9) peace officers and an administrative assistant.

TPD officers handle an assortment of responsibilities such as responding to traffic complaints, domestic disturbances, performing bailiff duties, and enforcing game & wildlife conservation laws.  The department provides 24-hour police coverage to approximately a 15 mile radius of tribal lands including lands directly along the U.S./Mexico Border.  TPD officers are charged with enforcing the laws of the Pueblo and of the United States (where applicable) to protect the property, safety and welfare of the community.  The department also conducts surveillance and investigates crimes or other infractions that impact the Pueblo community.  TPD is an active participant and member of the Tribal Drug Court.  TPD is granted authority to issue citations in accordance with the YDSP Citation Ordinance and enforces the following codes of law and ordinances under the following articles:

 YDSP Codes of Laws

      Article 4:    Peace Code (Law and Order Code)
      Article 5:    Youth Code
      Article 7:    Traffic Code
      Article 8:    Domestic Violence Code
      Article 64:  Sale of Alcoholic Beverages

Special Law Enforcement Commission

Together with the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Law Enforcement Commission, the Tribal Police Department now possesses a Special Law Enforcement Commission (SLEC). A SLEC is a deputation agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). SLEC Officers are treated as BIA police officers for purposes of enforcing Federal laws. Therefore, the BIA commission gives tribal officers authority to arrest non-Native Americans accused of committing federal offenses on reservations.  The YDSP Police Department underwent extensive background checks and qualification review to earn the commission. 

SLEC was initiated by the BIA as a means to work with tribal governments and tribal police departments to strengthen law enforcement throughout Indian Country. SLEC deputizes tribal police officers authorizing them to assist the BIA in making lawful arrests in Indian Country.  The SLEC authorizes Tribal Police to address federal crimes with the exception of crimes committed under the General Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C.  1152, and the Major Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C.  1153.

Prior to SLEC officers had limited authority to arrest non-Native Americans committing crimes on tribal lands. SLEC amends this default by allowing Tribal Police to react immediately to observed violations of the law and to act in emergency situations.   Arrests made within the jurisdiction of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo are referred to the prosecuting jurisdiction (Federal District Court).

SLEC deputized officers are deemed as employees of the Department of the Interior for purposes of the Federal Tort Claims.  As a result, the BIA commission gives the tribe some protection from legal liability because the federal government assumes more responsibility for the officer's actions if the officer is operating within the scope of his/her federal authority. Officers are eligible for SLEC commissions if they are a graduate of the BIA Law Enforcement (or State) Academy; a full-time law enforcement employee; pass FBI criminal history check and have firearms certification.

Obtaining a Special Law Enforcement Commission was a strategic goal adopted by the Pueblo in order to ensure a sound and safe environment for the tribal community.

In addition to the above listed services the TPD has managed a K9 Unit for over nine years.  The K-9 Unit is used for both narcotic detection and for patrol.  The K-9 Unit has been assisting tribal police officers in the war against drugs and helping to maintain a drug-free Pueblo environment.


Chief of Police Raul Candelaria


The Tribal Police Department is funded by tribal tax allocation revenue, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) under a Self-Governance Compact through Title IV of the Indian Self Determination Act, and other discretionary grants.

Incident Reports

A police incident report is a written document prepared after a crime or accident is reported to law enforcement.  Reports typically name the victim of a crime, witnesses who might have information needed to investigate the matter, the classification of the offense, and other pertinent data.  Incident reports involving accidents commonly include a diagram of the accident scene to determine who might be at fault.

Police incident reports vary in length from one or two paragraphs to multiple pages of chronicled information, which may include specifics on suspects and victims, and a description and value of any property involved.  During the investigation phase, witnesses are commonly interviewed and their statements are routinely included in the report.  Results of drug or alcohol testing, along with findings from other forensic tests, can appear in the report as well.  Such information assists prosecutors if a suspect is arrested and tried.

Police incident reports are public documents but limitations may be placed on the kind of information released.  For example, Tribal Police may block out names of witnesses who might face harm if their identity is revealed.  Personal identifying information, such as Social Security numbers and finger prints, are also protected from public view. 

Tribal Police commonly withhold incident reports from public scrutiny if the investigation of the incident is ongoing.  This practice protects the reputation of innocent people should the evidence show that they were not involved in criminal activity.  Once an investigation is closed, the report is generally available to victims and the public, although a fee might be charged for a copy.  Incident reports involving a juvenile as a suspect are considered confidential and treated accordingly.