- Lani Hansen
lighthorse protects and serves
BY TRISTA VAUGHN
TAHLEQUAH – Reducing fear and crime within communities while safeguarding lives and property are all in a day’s work for the Lighthorse Tribal Police Department at the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
“Serving our tribal members the best we can is my mission for the tribe,” said Charlie Dreadfulwater, UKB Lighthorse security director. “Other things we focus for our tribe’s safety is ensuring they are protected from harm and meet their needs.”
Lighthorse serves communities across 14 counties, as well as UKB properties, and does so with respect, integrity and the highest ethical standards. The department is open every day and an officer is always on-call for emergencies.
Dreadfulwater said he manages the daily activities of three officers and also manages activities related to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA.
The program is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 and is a comprehensive federal law that requires states to maintain a system for monitoring and tracking convicted sex offenders following their release into the community.
The act makes it a federal crime to knowingly fail to register with a state's authorities, or to fail to update registration at specified times, in accordance with the law's requirements.
Going on five years working for Lighthorse, Dreadfulwater said one of his favorite things about his job is helping others.
“People who are in the position I am in, it is my duty to accommodate to people who are in need. Serving my tribe and taking care of the elders are my priorities for me,” he said. “We do get some inquiries for some members,” said Dreadfulwater. “I try my best to help to the best of my abilities with whatever situation they got. If I can’t help them, I will direct them to who they should to speak to.”
Lighthorse has to renew certifications yearly, including the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, or CLEET, certification.
CLEET sets the standards for training peace officers in the state of Oklahoma and grants certification to candidates who successfully complete its training program.
“We have to have the CLEET Certification,” said Dreadfulwater. “Two of us are fully CLEET certified and one of us is reserved CLEET certified. To keep the CLEET certification, we have to do continuing education each year and we have so many hours we are required to do. For full-time, you have to do 25 hours and then two hours for mental health. For reserved guys, they have around 16 hours they have to do.”
For more information about Lighthorse, dial 918-871-2811. For the on-call officer, dial 918-871-2811.