August 15 in The Oregonian

The badge and pistol aren’t the only signs of Starla Green’s authority.

The patrol officer speaks directly: “Ten-four.” “Morning.” “You OK?” “Get up.” She doesn’t need to say, “Or else.”

More often than not, people listen.

Green’s tone is backed by nearly two decades in law enforcement. When she graduated from the state police academy, she swore an oath to Oregon public safety. She’s also received specialized training to enforce city, tribal, state and federal laws. Yet at times, she and other state-certified tribal officers did not have the authority to enforce Oregon laws. Her training simply didn’t count when she worked on the Warm Springs reservation, yet suddenly gained credence when she went to work for Jefferson County.

A new law changes that.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill July 28 that changes the definition of “police officer” to hinge on training rather than the personal judgments of local sheriffs. Under the new law, reservation police can have the same authority as other Oregon police.

Read the rest of the story and watch the video here.

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