Justice Department Opens Application Period for Program to Enhance Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases | OPA

The Department of Justice is pleased to announce the opening of the application period for federally recognized Tribes to participate in the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information, which provides federally recognized Tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for authorized criminal justice and non-criminal justice purposes. 

“The Department of Justice is committed to improving public safety in Tribal communities and the Tribal Access Program (TAP) is a key component in achieving this goal,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “TAP provides a means for federally recognized Tribes to effectively access critical criminal justice information to improve public safety and protect Tribal communities. This program has helped improve police officer safety, apprehend fugitives, register convicted sex offenders, enforce domestic violence protection orders, and protect children. With this opening of the application period, more Tribes will be able to protect their communities by participating in this successful program.”

The program provides training as well as software and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots, and submit information to FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems. There are currently 99 federally recognized Tribes participating in TAP. The department will accept TAP applications from July 1 through Aug. 31, 2021. Tribes selected to participate will be notified in September.

“TAP is a positive resource for criminal and non-criminal justice organizations of our tribal nation,” said Program Supervisor Orlando Bowman of the Navajo Nation Police Department, Information Management Section. “We continue to coordinate and communicate on potential uses and applications.”

“The Tribal Access Program (TAP) has become an indispensable tool in providing vital law enforcement information to our officers in the field as well as providing 21st century policing techniques for our community,” said Chief of Police Dana Norton of the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria. “The TAP has allowed our nation to flourish and succeed every day since launching with our department.”  

For Tribes that are considering applying, TAP staff will be conducting informational webinars describing the program and its capabilities throughout July and August, beginning on July 1. Webinars will be offered on the following dates: July 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 23, 26 & 29, and Aug. 2, 6, 12, 13, 17 & 19.

Using TAP, Tribes have shared information about missing persons; registered convicted sex offenders; entered domestic violence orders of protection for nationwide enforcement; run criminal histories; identified and arrested fugitives; entered bookings and convictions; and completed fingerprint-based record checks for non-criminal justice purposes such as screening employees or volunteers who work with children. 

The department offers TAP services through one of the following two methods:

  • TAP-LIGHT: Provides software that enables full access (both query and entry capabilities) to national crime information databases such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III), and the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) for criminal justice purposes.
  • TAP-FULL: In addition to the basic access capabilities of TAP-LIGHT, provides a kiosk workstation that enables the ability to submit and query fingerprint-based transactions via FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system for both criminal justice and non-criminal justice purposes.

Because of the program’s funding sources, eligible Tribes must have — and agree to use TAP for — at least one of the following:

  • A Tribal sex offender registry authorized by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act;
  • A Tribal law enforcement agency that has arrest powers;
  • A Tribal court that issues orders of protection; or
  • A Tribal government agency that screens individuals for foster care placement or that investigates allegations of child abuse/neglect.

TAP is funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART); the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC); and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). TAP is co-managed by the department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ). 

For more information about TAP, including our webinar dates, time and access information, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

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