Nineteen years after beginning his law enforcement career, Greg O’Rourke returned to the Yurok Public Safety Department as its chief.

O’Rourke took the oath of office as the tribe’s new public safety trip on Friday. Tribal Chairman Joseph L. James also swore Jacob Morris in as a lieutenant and O’Rourke’s second in command.

“From the start, this is where I always wanted to be,” O’Rourke said in a written statement.

O’Rourke began as an officer trainee with the Yurok Tribe Public Safety Department in 2000. He then worked for the Hoopa Tribe as a law enforcement officer where, he said, he learned how to problem solve without placing someone in handcuffs and taking them to jail.

In 2006, O’Rourke accepted a position with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, working for 12 years as a field training officer, defensive tactic instructor and patrolman. According to the Yurok Tribe’s press release, he also has an excellent working relationship with the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to recruiting Morris as a lieutenant with the Yurok Tribe, O’Rourke is working on recruiting individuals to send to law enforcement academy.

“I would love to see more Yurok Tribal citizens enter the academy,” he said, encouraging people to give the office a call.

Morris brings more than a decade’s worth of law enforcement experience to the Yurok Tribe. His career includes working as at the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office substation in Garberville, according to the tribe’s press release.

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