- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Federal investigators on Tuesday opened an office in Rapid City dedicated to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans, particularly women and girls.

The office will be one of seven created by President Donald Trump as part of the Operation Lady Justice Task Force. The initiative aims to develop protocols for law enforcement to respond to missing and slain Native American persons cases and to improve data and information collection.

The Rapid City office will be staffed with special agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and will coordinate efforts by local, federal and tribal law enforcement personnel to solve cold cases.

“Today, our shared presence, especially during these difficult times, is a demonstration of our commitment to keeping the national crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans a top priority,” said Administration for Native Americans Commissioner Jeannie Hovland, who is a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.

Other offices will be located in Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Tennessee.

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