Sycuan Tribal Police Department Celebrates Four “Firsts”

July 8, 2019

Sycuan Tribal Police Department Celebrates Four “Firsts”

Acclaimed tribal public safety department makes great strides forward

SYCUAN INDIAN RESERVATION, CA (July 8, 2019) – The Sycuan Tribal Police Department announced four exciting “firsts” for the leading tribal public safety agency in Indian Country.

Pilar Pettiford, a former Sycuan police service officer, graduated from the prestigious U.S. Criminal Investigator Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, becoming the first Sycuan tribal member to be a sworn peace officer and first to be granted a special law enforcement commission by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Pettiford holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and is assigned to police administration.  She was recently elected as tribal secretary on Sycuan’s Tribal Council.  Robert “Dominic” Miranda, formerly a Sycuan police service officer, became the first Sycuan tribal member to graduate from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Academy and the first tribal member to be a sworn Sycuan police officer.  Miranda previously had a distinguished career of 20 years with the California Highway Patrol (CHP).  Additionally, Brittany Wynne becomes the tribe’s first sworn female police officer; and Dane Ziperski is the first sworn police officer hired directly from the San Diego Regional Police Academy since the department entered into a deputation agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2005.

“The Sycuan tribe takes great pride in seeing these two tribal members achieve their professional successes,” stated tribal chairman Cody Martinez.  “Combined with the announcements about officers Ziperski and Wynne, these accomplishments reflect the professionalism of our police department and confirms the respect they have earned from their peer law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level.”

The Sycuan Tribal Police Department was formed in 1986.  It was the first tribal police department in the state of California to enter into a deputation agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs and is currently the only department to have agreements with local agencies to enforce state law.  Over the years, the department has forged close working relationships with local, state and federal public safety partners, earning admiration and accolades.  The tribe has executed formal agreements memorializing partnerships with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.  The department’s sworn officers are authorized to enforce state and federal criminal law as well as tribal law.

“We have to continue to strive to be representative of the community we serve, for both the tribal residents and the large visiting population.  These law enforcement officers add to an already diverse and very experienced staff that will only help strengthen the relationship the department already has with the community,” stated chief of police, Bill Denke.

About Sycuan:
Members of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation have resided in and around the foothills of the Dehesa Valley for nearly 12,000 years. Today they are a modern government providing public services to their members, employees and neighbors. The Sycuan Tribal Government operates one of the region’s premier Indian gaming and resort facilities, the Sycuan Casino Resort. The Sycuan Tribe demonstrates its strong commitment to the San Diego region through the support of hundreds of civic and charitable organizations.

The Tribe, through the Sycuan Tribal Development Corporation (STDC), also seeks to reinvest back into the San Diego community with a progressive business development effort. To date, STDC has purchased the former Singing Hills Country Club and the historic U.S. Grant Hotel; was an investor in Hotel Solamar near Petco Park; and is owner/developer of the Marina Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in National City. Combined, these enterprises now employ nearly 4,000 San Diegans. For more information on Sycuan visit www.sycuantribe.com