Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Southern Ute Police


To ensure that professional, effective, and efficient law enforcement services are provided utilizing accepted law enforcement techniques and practices to uphold the constitutional sovereignty and the customs of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. SUPD’s services shall provide for protection of lives and property for all persons visiting, residing, or traveling within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.  SUPD is dedicated to the advancement of community policing and to the development of a comprehensive strategy to resolve public safety issues and enhance the quality of life. 

The Southern Ute Police Department (SUPD) is located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Southwest Colorado. We patrol 677,622 acres of Southwestern Colorado covering parts of La Plata, Archuleta, and Montezuma counties. We share common borders with the Ute Mountain Ute and Jicarilla Apache reservations. We work with the Ignacio Police Department that has jurisdiction over the Town of Ignacio. The town is located within the boundaries of the reservation.


  • Decrease the number of alcohol-related deaths
  • Better relationships within the community
  • Better services for the community
  • Improving our officers, dispatchers, and support staff
image of officer saluting the american flag
McKayla Lee | Southern Ute Drum


The Chief of Police and Lieutenant handle the administration of the Southern Ute Police Department. They oversee the Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Victims Services, Communications, Community Resources, and Administrative Assistant.

Administration sets the vision and goals for the department, approves the training and development of the staff, and encourages, guides, and corrects the overall direction of S.U.P.D. The Administration reports to the Director of Justice and Regulatory and regularly briefs the Southern Ute Tribal Counsel.

Administrative Assistant

The Office of the Administrative Assistant is located in the Lobby of the Justice and Regulatory Building to the right of the entrance.

Their job is to give out general information, vendors’ permits, VIN inspections; most of the police department’s forms, services, and personnel can be accessed through the Administrative Assistant.


The Communications Technicians dispatch services for our police department, Ignacio Police Department, Los Pinos Fire and EMS, Tribal Ranger, Animal Control, Wildlife Conservation, and Division of Gaming. They provide enhanced 9-1-1 services to Tribal members and the community.

Criminal Investigations

The Criminal Investigations Department of the Southern Ute Police Department investigates the major criminal cases on the Southern Ute Reservation. They work very closely with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The department consists of a B.I.A. Criminal Investigator, a Detective, and an Administrative Assistant.

Major crimes within Indian Country, such as homicide, kidnapping, and domestic violence, can be prosecuted under Federal Law by the United States Attorney’s Office and they rely on the Criminal Investigation Department to aid the investigations.


New officers receive fourteen weeks of intensive Field Training beyond their P.O.S.T. or Federal Certifications. Officers continually receive specialized training in different fields of police work. They have duties that require wide-ranging experience to handle complex incidents and they have the cross-jurisdictional responsibilities that allow them to serve Tribal members, non-members and non-Indians that live and work within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation. Officers receive cross-deputization that enable them to work efficiently with the many jurisdictions within the Reservation.

We work regularly with other agencies including Colorado State Patrol, La Plata and Archuleta Counties’ Sheriff’s Departments, Ignacio Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

supd partrol car image
Jeremy Wade Shockley | Southern Ute Drum

Patrol Officers handle a variety of incidents including the following:

  • Rural/Residential patrols
  • D.U.I. Interdiction
  • Drug Interdiction
  • Traffic Code Enforcement
  • Accident Investigations
  • Civil Stand-by
  • Community Policing
  • Special Events

SUPD Services Offered

  • Lost Cell Phone Reports
  • Vendor Permits
  • Sex Offender Registry
  • Vehicle Crash Reports
  • VIN Inspections
  • Police Incident Reports