Office of Public Affairs | Justice Department Opens Application Period for Program to Enhance Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases

Office of Public Affairs | Justice Department Opens Application Period for Program to Enhance Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases

The Justice Department today announced the opening of the application period for federally recognized Tribes and intertribal consortia to participate in the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information. TAP improves public safety by providing federally recognized Tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for authorized criminal justice and non-criminal justice purposes, such as the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

“The Department’s Tribal Access Program is a critical asset that Tribes can deploy to increase safety and justice in their communities,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “Year in and year out, TAP’s value – enabling Tribes to access and exchange federal criminal justice information – has proven indispensable in advancing Tribal public safety across the country. I encourage all eligible Tribes to participate.”

“The Tribal Access Program is a highly valuable resource which aids in facilitating additional support to law enforcement partners and the communities they serve,” said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. “TAP gives Tribal partners a mechanism to share and collaborate on time-sensitive information that can be used to help better serve and protect their communities. The program has already experienced tremendous success and this application period offers an opportunity to further expand this important tool to even more partners.”

The Department will accept TAP applications from June 24 to Aug. 30. Tribes selected to participate will be notified in September. There are currently 132 federally recognized Tribes participating in TAP.

The program provides software, hardware, and training, as well as a web-based application and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots, and submit information to FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) systems.

Using TAP, Tribes have shared information about missing persons; entered domestic violence orders of protection for nationwide enforcement; registered convicted sex offenders; run criminal histories; located 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 Cherokee Nation has been participating in TAP for many years,” said Senior Director Justice Services Suzanne Drywater of the Cherokee Nation. “From sex offender registrations, law enforcement, foster home certification, human resources, and child support, our Tribe has been able to exercise our sovereignty, and TAP has proven to be an invaluable resource that we use daily in a multitude of ways.”

“TAP provides the Suquamish Tribal Police Department with access to national criminal justice information to properly conduct criminal investigations and to make NICS entries to prevent persons with legal restrictions from purchasing firearms,” said Administrative Services Manager Lisa Sparks of the Suquamish Tribal Police Department.

For Tribes that are considering applying, TAP staff will be conducting informational webinars describing the program and its capabilities. Webinars will be offered throughout July and August. For more information about TAP, including webinar dates, times, and access information, visit

To qualify for funding, federally recognized 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; the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office on Violence Against Women. TAP is co-managed by the Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office of Tribal Justice.

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