Grant to boost Whiteclay patrols

Published Wednesday December 22, 2010

LINCOLN — The notorious border town of Whiteclay, Neb., will see increased patrols by the local sheriff’s office under a $10,000 grant authorized by a new state law.

While the grant is small, the head of the Nebraska Indian Commission, Judi gaiashkibos said she hopes it will start “a new era of hope and change” for Whiteclay, which is known as the “skid row” of the Plains.

The unincorporated town has four liquor stores that sold the equivalent of 4.6 million 12-ounce cans of beer last year. The beer was sold mostly to residents of the adjacent Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where alcohol is technically illegal and alcoholism and other related problems are rampant.

The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office will use the $10,000 grant to pay for overtime and mileage expenses to increase patrols in Whiteclay, which is 22 miles from the county seat in Rushville in northwest Nebraska.

The Legislature last spring passed a bill that authorized $25,000 in grants for law enforcement, health care or economic development efforts. The rest of the money may be granted next year.

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