Ho-Chunk Nation swears in first ever chief of police

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Thursday will go down in history for the people of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

That's because for the first time ever, the nation's first police chief was sworn in.

The new chief, Daniel Libke, says he's taking on a massive challenge, but he's ready to get to work.

It was a celebration that will be remembered forever as Daniel Libke was sworn in as police chief.

"I am the first and so I'm very excited, but faced with this monumental task, I'm also very apprehensive," Libke said.

Libke says the Ho-Chunk Nation has a good relationship with law enforcement agencies that cover its land, but Thursdays swearing in is a big step toward building police authority within the nation.

"It builds sovereignty. We are supposed to be a sovereign nation. Now we can police ourselves and have our own laws enforced," Libke added.

"I don't think that we realize any full sovereignty rights or issues and I think this is toward the right step to achieve that," a Ho-Chunk Nation Traditional Court Member Tom Hopinkah said.

The new chief says it will take time to build up a police department.

"Coming up with policies, procedures, waiting for our legislature to come up with criminal laws. There's not gonna be any patrols probably for a year and a half, two years out, it's gonna be administrative," Police Chief Libke said.

People we talked to who witnessed the swearing in of the police chief all said it’s a big step for the Ho-Chunk Nation, but they say they’ll have to wait and see if everything runs smoothly.

"That's gonna really help us," Clan Mother Faith Matter said.

"It's like a person walking on eggshells sometimes, but he's got a good personality and you gotta think of your people, your constituents," Hopinkah added.

A celebratory day for the new man in charge, but the start down a challenging road as the Ho-Chunk Nation works to patrol its lands.

"This is a massive challenge and like I said I have a degree in history so I know I appreciate history, and being the first ever police chief is history. I'm a part of it now and that's just an incredible feeling," Libke said.

Chief Libke says the main thing he's focused on now is getting the resolution passed by the legislature to recognize the Ho-Chunk Nation's law enforcement agency.

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