Tuolumne, CA — The 8,460 sq. ft. building, located at the Black Oak Casino Resort, is the new home for the Tribal Security Department staff of 16 and the Tribal Fire Department’s 20 employees. It is significant in that it marks the first time the two entities have been under the same roof.
Tribal Chair Kevin Day says, “The Tribe’s new Public Safety Building and the partnership of our two safety departments is a great source of price for The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. The first of its kind in the area, the building will foster a special, unique relationship between the two entities while also representing the continued self-reliance of our people and our commitment to the community.”
Tribal Fire Chief Jerry McGowan also notes the savings and advantages for the tribe, “For the tribal members it means better responses, better communication within security and fire to respond to whatever incident or whatever a tribal member needs. It’s more of a cost savings because we are one and working together and sharing; all those types of things.”
The combining into one public safety department could bring additional funding, according to Tribal Rancheria Security Chief Darrell Hendricks who explains, “The fire department generally does the grants. As a security department, non-law enforcement department, we haven’t had access to grants. Being tied together as public safety, I think it is going to definitely open some funding avenues for equipment and training for our officers.”
A ceremony was held this week where members of The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indian community came together for a traditional tribal blessing. Members of the tribe were later joined by others from the Sheriff’s Department, other fire departments, and the business community, for an official ribbon cutting.