Around 500 tribal leaders, emergency managers, environ-mental-protection officers, federal and state appointees, attorneys, and law-enforcement professionals will meet in Las Vegas for the 25th Annual National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) National Training Conference. This year’s theme is “Community Partnerships Working Against Illegal Drugs, Human Trafficking, Violent Crimes, and Other Criminal Activities.” Here, we lay out the meeting planner’s challenges and initiatives they hope to meet at their next conference.
Because NNALEA is a nonproﬁt organization run by a board of volunteers, organizers try to be “as economical as possible,” according to Dewey Webb, NNALEA’s senior director, working to reduce costs by choosing destinations that can be accessed easily by direct ﬂights, such as Las Vegas. Once a destination is chosen, Webb decides on a venue based on what can ﬁt NNALEA’s unique space requirements. “There have been years where we’ve had large vehicles brought in — helicopters, trucks, emergency-response vehicles,” Webb said, “so we need space to display that kind of stuff.”
This year’s training event will focus on substance abuse within communities, with a particular emphasis on the opioid epidemic and the growing of illegal marijuana. “Tribes are getting into the medical-marijuana grow operations,” Webb said, “and it’s creating all sorts of new issues.” Also on the agenda is an introduction to drug-endangered children, teaching law-enforcement and social-service professionals how to identify signs of drug use in the home. “If the parents are using drugs,” Webb said, “it really impacts the children.”