Cultural Liaison Officer Program

Medium

The North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) created the Cultural Liaison Program (CLP) in 2017 to enhance culturally diverse relationships through familiar, consistent staff and resources. The CLP has a dedicated staff with a goal to build relationships and create a single contact point for questions, comments, or concerns.

The Cultural Liaison Officer (CLO) is a sworn peace officer who serves the diverse population of North Dakota.  The goals of the CLO program are to build relationships, secure trust, and develop empathy to allow for effective, meaningful dialogue among diverse communities in order to build lasting relationships; foster trust; address community concerns; and provide direct support to patrol operations.

The CLO is located at NDHP headquarters in Bismarck. The CLO works onsite and within diverse communities and provides assistance to other government agencies including the ND Indian Affairs Commission. The Native American community includes members of the five tribal nations that share geography with North Dakota: Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes (MHA Nation), and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Each tribal nation is unique with its own beliefs, traditions, protocols, history, and languages.

The work of the CLO is primarily “call-generated”, focusing on immediate needs and concerns. These calls range from missing persons cases, jurisdictional complexities, requests for cross-agency collaboration, cultural awareness training, and youth engagement. The CLO provides information and relational assessment to NDHP leadership as needed and is integral in working with tribal leadership to enhance law enforcement services across the state.

One of the primary duties of the CLO is to provide cultural awareness and diversity training to new police officers at the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy. This training and other resources are available, by request, to other agencies and departments across the state. In addition, the CLO participates in recruiting culturally and ethnic diverse candidates to ensure NDHP properly represents the citizens of North Dakota.

Contact the Cultural Liaison Officer via phone 701-328-2447 or by email jclawson@nd.gov.